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Cosatu supports land expropriation

Aug 25 2011 15:00 Sapa

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Johannesburg - Cosatu supports the need to change the constitution to bolster land redistribution, but does not support expropriation without compensation, it said on Thursday.

"We are concerned that the willing buyer, willing seller principle has not helped South Africa to achieve what we aimed to achieve in ensuring that land is restored to the people," said Cosatu president Sidumo Dlamini.

He was speaking after a meeting of Cosatu's central executive committee (CEC).

The CEC decided to call for the amendment of the constitution to address the property clause.

The ANC Youth League also made this call earlier this year. It wants land to be expropriated without compensation.

However, Cosatu believes expropriation without compensation is not the way to go.

"We must mobilise the country behind the demand for more aggressive land and wealth redistribution and show the real dangers of maintaining the status quo," it said in a resolution.

"In this regard, we call for real dialogue among all our people, including with the opposition parties."

Dlamini said Cosatu wanted a more effective method which ensured that land was indeed restored to the people.

Changing the constitution requires the ANC to obtain a two-thirds majority in the next election, he said. Cosatu reiterated its support for the nationalisation of mines.

Dlamini also echoed comments by ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe earlier this week, that nationalisation must not be used as a lobbying tool ahead of the ANC's elections. He said it was a concern when the debate on nationalisation was used to sow division, and to identify those who wanted to lead in the ANC.

Cosatu was also adamant that there was no succession race in the federation over the position of general secretary, held by Zwelinzima Vavi.

It was recently reported that the general secretaries of powerful affiliates within the federation were vying for the position.

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