By BO Staff Writer
The following statement was first published on the Black First Land First website and is now reissued by Black Opinion:
Black First Land First Gauteng (BLF-GP) notes the announcement by the Mayor of Ekurhuleni, Mzwandile Masina, of the City’s decision to expropriate at least four properties without compensation. The point, as Masina suggests, is to test Section 25 of the constitution for its capacity to address the housing problem by expropriating land without compensation and creating townships thereon.
Masina’s project amounts to a short term solution providing temporary relief from the historical injustice of land dispossession and by extension the housing problem and the harsh realities of life in informal settlements. BLF GP firmly believes that the relief suggested by Masina will serve ultimately to further entrench apartheid spatial design of keeping black people in townships outside of the means of production.
Black people have come to understand the importance of land and our deep connection to it by birthright. Guided by this realization and a program inspired by black consciousness BLF revolutionary forces in Ekurhuleni took the battle to the streets to fight for what belongs to them. They waged a long and difficult battle which entailed them going against a municipality run by fellow politically misguided blacks who feared the authority of whites.
Section 25 of the constitution, that Masina places so much faith in, is unworkable.
BLF believes that the whole of the said Section 25 should be scrapped and replaced with the following:
a) All the land held by whites in South Africa is stolen property.
b) All black people have a right to land in South Africa without any payment.
c) The eviction of farm workers and poor people from land is illegal (we are saying the constitution must make it illegal for whites to evict us).
The City must actually declare a moratorium on all evictions. It must focus on formally expropriating and servicing the land that the people have taken. To this end land occupation by the landless blacks must be made lawful.
BLF-GP acknowledges the fighting spirit of the community of Zonkizizwe in their quest to occupy a section of Embileni where the Ekurhuleni metro police has unleashed its brutality on them. The community of Esselen Park have also been brutally attacked by the same metro police that Masina presides over.
We will be getting in touch with the Mayor’s office to get further clarity on the expropriation process with a view to furthering the cause of our people in their just struggles against landlessness, homelessness and business economic empowerment.
If the City of Ekurhuleni under Masina is serious about land expropriation without compensation it will not deploy the police and courts to criminalize land occupations in Ekurhuleni. Moreover it will put an end to the victimization and persecution of the people of Zonkizizwe and Esselen Park, and of any black person of any other region for that matter, engaged in legitimate struggle.
BLF-GP will monitor the situation to see what implications the Mayor’s plan has for the resolution of the land question in the context of the current land expropriation debate in the country. Will the Mayor act in the interests of the people in the long term or is this just a move to garner votes for the 2019 elections? We won’t be fooled by politicians again. Enough is enough!
Issued by the Gauteng Provincial Coordinating Committee of Black First Land First (BLF GP)
28 September 2018
Black First Land First Email:[email protected]
Facebook: Black First Land First
Deputy Secretary : Ntsako Mthethwa
Tel: (063) 124-5919
Media coordinator : Simanga Mchunu
Tel: +27 (73) 936-3211