We will ‘strengthen BEE’ and move forward with expropriating land – Magashule

The ANC wants to ‘de-racialise our towns and cities and transform apartheid-era spacial patterns’, its secretary-general said.
At a press briefing on Wednesday at Luthuli House, African National Congress (ANC) secretary-general Ace Magashule outlined what was agreed upon at a lekgotla held on 19 and 20 January, following a meeting of the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) on 17 and 18 January.

Magashule listed a number of the resolutions taken, which included the “strengthening of BEE and other policies to transform racial, patriarchal and monopoly ownership patterns in our economy,” as well as the endorsement of moving ahead with amending the constitution to allow for land expropriation without compensation.

The ANC secretary-general also discussed the ANC’s standpoint on the nation’s struggling state-owned enterprises, hinting that the party planned to fight privatisation of these companies, including national carrier SAA, which is currently under business rescue.

Other resolutions taken by the party include:

cracking down on tax avoidance: recent reports show that only 3 million people out of SA’s 56 million paid 97% of personal income tax in 2019
transforming the structure of manufacturing with a renewed emphasis on localisation
easing SA’s visa requirements
eradicating youth unemployment
boosting consumer demand and lowering the costs of doing business (including data costs)
curbing climate change by promoting sustainable, smart agriculture and alternative technologies
ensuring greater coordination between our various justice and law enforcement bodies, as well as modernising systems in these bodies
increasing social cohesion
He said it was conceded at the lekgotla that some communities under the party’s control have experienced basic infrastructure failures.

Regarding land expropriation, Magashule said the lekgotla endorsed the amendment of section 25 of the constitution, and committed to an “intensive program to popularise and explain its position on the amendment of section 25 of the constitution”.

He added that among the key issues surrounding this would be the development of black farmers, as well as the question of urban land.

READ MORE: SAA should be retained as a national airline – Magashule

Magashule said the ANC wanted to “de-racialise our towns and cities and transform apartheid-era spacial patterns”, which would include the “expropriation of well located urban land and targeting of derelict buildings”.

“We won’t allow hijacking of buildings in our cities and towns,” he said.

Magashule also noted that SA would function as AU chair this year.

“SA will once again assume the important role as the AU chair under the theme of silencing the guns to create conducive environment for development. SA must also use its non-permanent seat at the UN Security Council to transform the international body,” he said.

Magashule said the lekgotla came at a “pivotal moment for our country due to the economic difficulties we are faced with, as many people continue to endure great hardship”.

He said the ANC had agreed that the most important issues of concern to the nation include the economy, jobs, SOEs and building a “capable state”.

He said that his party was attempting to fight the triple challenge of unemployment, inequality and poverty.

(Compiled by Daniel Friedman)