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South African National Assembly agrees to
'land expropriation without compensation' 

CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) -- The National Assembly on Tuesday agreed to the principle of the expropriation of land without compensation.

However, the expropriation of land must be conducted within the context of ensuring food security, economic growth and radical economic transformation, said Nonceba Mhlauli, spokesperson of the African National Congress (ANC) in Parliament.

The National Assembly accepted amendments tabled by the ANC, according to Mhlauli.

Under the ANC amendments, the Constitutional Review Committee of Parliament will review Section 25 of the Constitution and other clauses where necessary to sufficiently cater for the principle of land expropriation without compensation, said Mhlauli.

The Committee has been directed to prioritize this issue and report back to Parliament by August 30 this year.

The move by the National Assembly is in line with the resolution of the 54th National Conference of the ANC late last year which resolved that the ANC should, as a matter of policy, pursue expropriation of land without compensation.

The ANC conference, however, stressed that land expropriation without compensation should be pursued without destabilizing the agricultural sector, endangering food security in the country, or undermining economic growth and job creation.

In his first State of Nation Address earlier this month, Cyril Ramaphosa, ANC President and the President of South Africa, made a commitment that the government would continue the land reform program that entails expropriation of land without compensation, making use of all mechanisms at the disposal of the state.

Ramaphosa said this will be implemented in a manner that will increase agricultural production, improve food security, and ensure that the land is returned to those from whom it was taken under the brutality of colonialism and apartheid.

“The ANC in Parliament appreciates the need to take bold steps that will transform our economy including land ownership and reform,” Mhlauli said.

The latest move by the National Assembly heralds a new era of intensified land distribution to address the long standing national grievance of South African blacks around land dispossession, said Mhlauli.

“We look forward to the outcome of the constitutional review processes on the modalities of expropriation of land without compensation. As the ANC in Parliament, we will closely monitor this process,” he added.

Since taking power in 1994, the ANC has made land redistribution from whites to blacks without compensation one of its main policies.

But land remains predominantly in white hands more than two decades after the end of apartheid, sparking growing discontent among South African blacks.

The opposition strongly opposes compulsory purchases of land, saying this would kill jobs and threaten food security.


South Africa business community applauds new cabinet appointments

JOHANNESBURG South Africa (Xinhua) -- The South African business community on Tuesday applauded the selection of Cabinet ministers by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday night.

Nhlanhla Nene and Pravin Gordhan bounced back in the cabinet as finance and public enterprise ministers respectively.

Nene was fired from the National Treasury by former president, Jacob Zuma in 2015.

Business Unity SA (Busa) welcomed the appointment of Mondli Gungubele as deputy minister of finance. Gungubele, an outspoken critic of corruption, “particularly with respect to state-owned enterprises was be the best person for the job,” said Busa.

Busa CEO Tanya Cohen said she also welcomed the stability provided by retaining Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel, Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing Minister Senzeni Zokwana, Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa and Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant.

“Jeff Radebe into the energy ministers provides a welcome sign that there will be consultation on the integrated resource plan and integrated energy plan, which will provide the much-needed framework and direction for energy planning, pricing and resourcing,” she said.

Ramaphosa’s reshuffle saw 10 ministers dropped and 10 new appointments made, bringing sweeping change to the Cabinet. He appointed former Mpumalanga premier David Mabuza as deputy president amid allegations of scandals hanging on his head.

Interestingly, Ramaphosa appointed Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to be minister in the Presidency responsible for monitoring and planning. She was his rival in the ANC’s elective conference in December,

In his address to the media Monday night, Ramaphosa said, he had started reviewing the configuration of the Cabinet in terms of the size and number of national ministries and departments, but the reshuffle would not introduce these changes.

“We will retain the existing ministries and departments until that review is completed,” Ramaphosa said.

South Africa captains of industry welcomed the replacing of Mosebenzi Zwane with Gwede Mantashe as mineral resources minister.

The Chamber of Mines and law firm Herbert Smith Freehills said on Tuesday, Mantashe, a former National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) general secretary, is “a man of integrity and dignity, and who brings with him a sound and fundamental knowledge of the industry he will lead and enable. He is a person with whom our industry has long held a constructive and respectful relationship.”


South African poultry producers seek protection against dumping

JOHANNESBURG South Africa (Xinhua) -- The stakeholders in the poultry industry on Tuesday held a special forum in Johannesburg and recommended that imports be reduced by 50 percent and local producers asking for protection against dumping.

The forum was attended by representatives from government, poultry producers, research institutions and civil society lobby groups in the poultry sector.

It was revealed during the forum that the poultry sector faces high input costs (like grain feed) and large volumes of cheap imported chicken, mostly from the EU, Brazil and the US. It was said the imports from the EU are highly subsidized.

Imameleng Mothebe, director of agri-processing in the Department of Trade and Industry, said they are proposing some measures to make the poultry sector viable. These include trade measures, a review of technical tariff structures, competitiveness and a lowering of input costs.

“The government is doing what it can, but the important thing is to ensure that the public is aware of the issues in order to pay allegiance to locally grown and produced products. This, in turn, will also assist the distressed poultry industry,” said Mothebe.

The sector was organized by Proudly South Africa (SA) which advocates for the local products to be bought and used.

Fair Play, a poultry lobby organization called for anti-dumping measures to be put in place. Fair Play CEO Francois Baird called for the the zero VAT (value added tax) rating of South African poultry products to help poor South African consumers.

The country imports about 90 percent of mechanically deboned meat. .



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