ANC resolves to expropriate land and nationalise central bank
Row erupts as ANC guns for expropriation of land without compensation and nationalisation of the South African Reserve Ban
The ANC has adopted a resolution calling for the nationalisation of the central bank and land expropriation without compensation.
The rand reversed gains of as much as 1.1% against the dollar and was 0.3% weaker at 12.7435 by 10:15 p.m. in Johannesburg.
Following a meeting of party delegates, the head of the ANC’s economic transformation committee Enoch Godongwana told reporters the ownership of the South African Reserve Bank would not affect the regulator’s independence.
He said the party had also agreed to initiate amendments of the Constitution to achieve land expropriation without compensation, but gave no timeline.
“There should be no illegal occupation of land,” Godongwana said. “That is part of the resolution we have taken.”
Sources in the plenary said tense discussions about land expropriation saw delegates who were sponsoring conflicting views start shouting and nearly come to blows. Marshals and members of the security detail at the conference intervened and some delegates were physically removed from the session.
Earlier this year the Reserve Bank spoke out against the proposal to nationalise it when it was discussed at the ANC’s policy conference in June‚ saying the bank’s private shareholding structure had no bearing on its monetary policy stance or the regulatory role it played in the banking sector and the broader economy.
The bank also suffered political pressure when Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane recommended that the Constitution be amended to change its mandate — a recommendation the bank has contested in court.
Turning to the roles of state-owned enterprises in the economy‚ the ANC conference has resolved that only skilled and qualified people should be appointed to lead state owned enterprises.
Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant told the plenary that firm action was required to improve the governance and performance of parastatals by ensuring the appointment of skilled staff and qualified board members.
The party also resolved that SOEs must be protected from improper influence.
Exposés on state capture have revealed details of how the Gupta family got improper control of SOEs through proxies in senior positions in the executives and boards.
Party delegates also agreed that Treasury must develop a wealth tax that may be in the form of a land tax in an effort to promote equity and raise the revenue in the state coffers.
They resolved that to deal with the high levels of concentration of ownership in many sectors in the economy‚ the penalties for uncompetitive behaviour must be increased‚ sources in the plenary said.
The plenary heard that the competition commission needed to be strengthened with additional resources./BusinessDay