South Africa's ANC Backs Just, Equitable Compensation for Land

  • Party calls for more intense focus on ‘radical transformation’
  • ANC acknowledges need to restore party’s moral character

South Africa’s ruling party said the state should pay fair compensation for land it acquires for distribution to the country’s black majority, contradicting a suggestion by President Jacob Zuma that the constitution should be changed to allow for free expropriation.

The government’s land redistribution policy needs to be more clearly articulated and it should spell out what constitutes just and equitable compensation for real estate, the African National Congress said in a discussion document released Sunday before a party conference to be held in Johannesburg June 30-July 5.

The ANC dominates South African politics, having won more than 60 percent of the vote in every election since it took power in 1994. It suffered its worst ever electoral performance in a municipal vote in August, amid mounting discontent over high levels of poverty, unemployment and corruption.

The party said it needs to focus more intently on the “radical economic and social transformation of our country” to ensure its wealth is more evenly distributed and that it must act urgently to restore its moral character to win back public trust.

“The ANC’s own internal challenges, such as social distance between leaders and members, widespread corruption, poor performance in government and abuse of organizational processes for personal gain, will contribute to the ANC’s demise if left unattended,” the party said.

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