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DA votes to protect 'land clause' in the Constitution

The Democratic Alliance has resolved to "protect clause 25 of the Constitution", otherwise known as the "property clause".

The DA was one of three parties that opposed a motion in Parliament in February to look at section 25 of the Constitution with a view to amending it to include land expropriation without compensation.

On Saturday, more than 2000 DA delegates voted unanimously at the party's federal congress in Tshwane to protect property rights in South Africa.

"Land is currently a very politically contentious issue," DA MP Thomas Walters, the proposer of the resolution, said.

"The purpose of this resolution is to reaffirm that the DA has the answer to land reform. We have the right principles, and we want to tell South Africans of all backgrounds that we have the answer.

"The State expropriating land is not justice. We want people to own land themselves."

Roy Jenkelson, also an MP, asked to amend the motion to include the transferring of title deeds to Khoi and San people in rural areas.

Walters had no problems with the amendment, nor did the delegates. It passed unanimously.

The party also unanimously supported a resolution to do away with the ANC government’s VAT increase. In a motion brought forward by member of parliament Alf Lees and seconded by head of policy Gwen Ngwenya.

The DA has said although it acknowledges that the current revenue gap continues to pose significant fiscal challenge to the country it did not believe that the drastic interventions “do not need to and morally should not” hit the poor the hardest.

The opposition party says should it be elected to power would reverse VAT to the previous 15%, reduce government expenditure and the size of cabinet.

There was some confusion over the proposed jobs seekers exchange, with numerous delegates arguing against claiming it was a backdoor way to remove the minimum wage and suggesting that it would have an adverse impact on the vulnerable.

Some delegates have also been angered by a proposal to remove monetary value from the minimum wage, claiming it would be easy to take advantage of job seekers.

 Tshidi Madia, news24

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