'That’s not where the horse is buried': Kgalema Motlanthe bemoans parliament's land reform approach

The former president says the legislature should have passed laws to ensure equitable redistribution of land

04 September 2019 - 18:42 By QAANITAH HUNTER
Former president Kgalema Motlanthe has criticised parliament for prioritising the amendment of the constitution instead of passing laws to ensure equal redistribution of land
Former president Kgalema Motlanthe has criticised parliament for prioritising the amendment of the constitution instead of passing laws to ensure equal redistribution of land
Image: THULI DLAMINI

Former president Kgalema Motlanthe has accused parliament of failing to give effect to section 25 of the constitution by passing laws to ensure equitable redistribution of land. 

Speaking at a dialogue with the former president of Chile, Ricardo Lagos, at the Market Theatre in Johannesburg on Wednesday, Motlanthe said there needed to be a framework for implementation of land reform instead of amending the constitution.

“Such a law has never been passed. Instead we find fault with section 25 and yet that’s not where the horse is buried,” he said. 

Parliament is currently dealing with a push to amend section 25 of the constitution to allow for expropriation of land without compensation. This move was a direct result of a resolution of the ANC's 2017 national conference in Nasrec.

Last year, Motlanthe shared a similar sentiment, criticising the ANC and the EFF’s push to amend the constitution. 

Motlanthe said if a law was passed it would create a framework for issuing title deeds, for security of tenure to farm dwellers and for security of tenure for people living under traditional leadership.

 Motlanthe has in the past clashed with traditional leaders over his views on land reform.  He said on Wednesday that South Africa had the advantage of hindsight.

He further bemoaned the state of inequality in South Africa.

“It’s like we have two countries in same borders. One is a developed country and another is an underdeveloped country,” he said.

Former president Lagos said he believed that as people change, so should policies.

“Democracy has to change because people will opt for populism,” he said.


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