Land issues in urban areas should be addressed through the release of government and municipal-owned land to build homes for people‚ ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa said on Saturday.
Ramaphosa was delivering the ANC’s national executive committee’s January 8 statement in East London.
He said the issue of land in urban areas should be addressed as government owned a lot of land through various departments and municipalities‚ and that this land should be released to build houses on.
Ramaphosa said the ANC’s national conference in December decided that the historic injustice of land dispossession needed to be addressed with greater urgency. He said there was “overwhelming support” at the conference that the ANC must pursue the expropriation of land without compensation.
“We will do so in a manner that not only meets the constitutional requirement of redress‚ but also promotes economic development‚ agricultural production and food security‚” Ramaphosa said.
Ramaphosa said corruption in state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and other public institutions had undermined the government’s programmes to address poverty and unemployment‚ as well as weakened key institutions‚ discouraged investment and contributed to divisions within the ANC and the alliance.
The alliance was at its weakest at the end of former ANC president Jacob Zuma’s term as both the South African Communist Party and trade union Cosatu called for President Jacob Zuma’s resignation amid allegations of state capture.
“We need also to act with urgency and purpose to restore state-owned enterprises (SOEs) as drivers of economic growth and development. Several key SOEs are in financial distress‚ threatening not only their own operations‚ but the national fiscus‚” Ramaphosa said.
He said many of the enterprises had experienced serious governance lapses and poor delivery of their mandate.
“These challenges have been exacerbated by state capture‚ through which billions of rand have been illegally diverted to individuals‚” Ramaphosa said‚ adding that they needed to act urgently and decisively to improve governance‚ financial management and performance in all SOEs and protect them from improper interference.
Ramaphosa thanked Zuma for deciding to establish a judicial commission of inquiry into state capture. As he thanked Zuma‚ some of the attendees at the celebrations booed Zuma for at least the third time on Saturday.
Ramaphosa said anti-corruption efforts within the state must be more effectively coordinated and all forms of corruption must be exposed and prosecuted. This included corruption‚ collusion and other criminal activity in the private sector‚ which must be fought with equal diligence and determination.
He warned that anybody who undermined the unity project‚ would be summoned to Luthuli House to explain‚ no matter how senior the member was.