Cape Town – Mmusi Maimane has come out strongly against land expropriation without compensation, saying that national government only intends for land reform programmes to tick boxes and make up numbers.
“It’s about shortcuts and quick fixes. As soon as the deal is done, the beneficiary is abandoned,” the Democratic Alliance (DA) leader said at a Workers’ Day celebration with farm workers in Wellington on Tuesday.
“The DA intends for land reform to be empowering to the individual beneficiaries, with long-term sustainable benefits,” Maimane said to the farm workers, who were beneficiaries of the DA’s farm equity share schemes.
He said that the workers who have benefitted from the scheme will go far because it was a project aimed at real, long-term empowerment of individuals.
“This is how you make land reform work for the people rather than for the parties chanting the slogans,” Maimane said.
According to the DA, in 2008, 260 workers were each given over R100 000 worth of shares in the equity scheme.
“This is not some quick-fix solution by national government where land beneficiaries are left on their own to either sink or swim,” Maimane said, who also claimed that the ANC’s land reform projects have a 90% failure rate.
Maimane also refuted the notion that anyone who stands opposed to the EFF’s approach to land expropriation without compensation was also opposed to land reform.
“This needs to be said over and over again. We voted against the EFF’s proposal because it will do nothing to empower poor black South Africans. In fact, it will only make them poorer,” Maimane said. He went on to claim that under the EFF’s model, all land will become the property of the state, and no individuals will own anything.
“They intend to take away everyone’s property, whether you’re black or white, and make everyone permanent tenants of the state.”
While speaking, Maimane quoted of an African proverb that says, ‘if you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.’
“Standing here on this particular farm on Workers’ Day, I am reminded of the truth in this proverb. Because what you see on this farm, and the other farms that make up the Bosman-Adama equity share scheme, is proof of what can be achieved when we pool our resources as a nation and try to find solutions together,” Maimane said.