By BO Staff Writer
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have been dead silent about President Jacob Zuma’s call to amend the constitution to allow for the expropriation of land without compensation.
The EFF’s first cardinal pillar (before it was changed to fall in line with the interests of white capital of course) was land expropriation without compensation for equal redistribution. One would think that the EFF would declare Zuma’s comments as a step in the right direction in terms of land redress, but the red berets have remained mum. This shows that the EFF’s rhetoric on land has been reduced to mere brand strategy rather than revolutionary praxis.
A golden opportunity has availed itself for the EFF. The question is, will the EFF support Zuma in his call to change the law to allow for expropriation without compensation?
Black Opinion tried to reach the EFF’s spokesperson, Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, for comment with no avail. Ndlozi dismissed BO staff reporter without answering any of the questions posed. He didn’t respond to questions emailed to him.
BO asked Ndlozi:
1. What is the EFF’s position on Jacob Zuma’s recent comments on the expropriation of land without compensation?
2. Will the EFF support Zuma in his call to change the law to allow for expropriation of land without compensation? If yes, why? If not, why not?
3. Since the SONA, the president has taken a radical stance on the land question and the question of transformation generally – causes that the EFF has said it champions. Would the EFF unite with other black movements to push forward the struggle for land?
On Friday, President Zuma said South Africa’s laws would be amended to allow for the expropriation of land without compensation. Speaking at the launch of Operation Phakisa on Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Zuma said “[w]e must seek new ways of doing things which will change the economic landscape in our country and ensure that the black majority shares in the wealth. Only then can we have true reconciliation and an expanded economic cake.”
Zuma boldly declared that “land reform is a central pillar of the radical economic transformation programme. Let me reiterate what I said in the SONA: true reconciliation will be impossible to achieve if the land question is not addressed. If we do not radically change the patterns of land ownership, control and management in South Africa we will be creating problems for ourselves in future.”
Operation Phakisa is a programme by the government which seeks to “hurry up the delivery of services to the people and the transformation of our society as a whole.” The focus areas of the programme are the oceans economy, health, education (focusing on information communication technology), agriculture, rural development & land reform, and soon to be launched, the mining sector.
Black Opinion will wait and see how the EFF responds to the revolutionary call of the President. The party will most probably dismiss Zuma’s call and further label him a Gupta agent (as is usually the case when they have run out of things to say), thus losing an opportunity to further the land agenda.
On the contrary, the Black Consciousness movement, Black First Land First (BLF) has welcomed the decision of the president. Read their full statement on the matter below:
Watch the Black First Land First’s (BLF) National Convenor, Andile Mngxitama, unpack BLF’s position on Zuma’s comments: