South African parliament votes to seize white-owned land

The matter has been referred to the parliament's Constitutional Review Committee, which must report back by August 30.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said after his inauguration two weeks ago that he would speed up the transfer of land to black people although he stressed that food production and security must be preserved.

Land reform must be conducted "in an orderly manner", Secretary-General Ace Magashule said at the same conference.

"Food prices will essentially be based on import parity and not export parity as is now the case".

The National Assembly is set to consider a motion led by the EFF nearly two weeks after President Cyril Ramaphosa said the government would undertake a process of consultation to determine the modalities of the implementation of expropriation of land without compensation.

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In Parliament on Tuesday, 241 MPs voted in favour of the motion while 81 voted against it.

Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Groenewald concurred with the DA's views.

It was not immediately clear when any change to South Africa's constitution to allow expropriation of land without compensation would take place.

"This is the PAC of '59, it's no longer the African National Congress", he said as he left the podium.

"All of us must come together and say: 'Enough is enough.' Our people must get the land. We do not think the ANC and the EFF have properly thought through all the negative unintended consequences that will flow from any attempt to tamper with the property clause". Agricultural economists Wandile Sihlobo and Johann Kirsten wrote last week: “With the benefit of hindsight, the Zimbabwean experience tells us that the notion of expropriation without compensation is a bad idea.

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Without these loans, farmers can not purchase seed, fertiliser, feed or implements and will be unable to produce, she said. This may lead to food shortages, price increases, food related riots and social instability. "It will be dealt with within the confines of the Constitution", he reportedly said.

She said Agri SA also proposes subsidising new black farmers.

Despite arguments, the vote called out for ANC to redistribute lands as the pressure grows to gain support of the poorer black voters ahead of the election next year. There is more than enough land on the market, so subsidising loans could help in this regard. "The motion today means land has been elevated even higher as a political issue to code red from code amber", he said.

According to Thandeka Mbabama, the DA deputy shadow minister for Rural Development and Land Reform, expropriation without compensation fundamentally undermined property ownership in South Africa.

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