Was the ANC’s decision to endorse expropriation without compensation (EWC) at its Nasrec conference in December 2017 a last-ditch fight-back by the Zuma faction against Cyril Ramaphosa’s victory? Was Mr Ramaphosa’s July 2018 announcement that the ANC now definitely wants an EWC amendment to the Constitution an electoral ploy to shore up the organisation’s flagging support vis-a-vis the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF)?
Or has the ANC been planning to embark on EWC as part of its long-standing commitment to a national democratic revolution (NDR)?
The NDR idea was developed by the Soviet Union in the 1950s, endorsed by the SACP in 1962, and embraced by the ANC at its Morogoro conference in 1969. Since 1994, the ANC has regularly recommitted itself to the NDR at each of its national conferences, from Mafikeng in 1997 to Nasrec in 2017.
The ANC’s commitment to the NDR is the key to understanding its EWC demand. Yet the NDR is generally overlooked by the commentariat, or dismissed by it as unimportant. In this briefing, Dr Anthea Jeffery* unpacks:
- the key objectives of the NDR;
- how South Africa’s land injustice is being used to advance the NDR;
- what ANC/SACP land objectives have been, both before and after 1994;
- whether land reform failures have been engineered to justify the EWC demand;
- how EWC fits with NDR thinking; and
- why the NDR is so difficult to understand or counter.
Dr Anthea Jeffery holds law degrees from Wits, Cambridge, and London universities. She is Head of Policy Research at the IRR (Institute of Race Relations), and is the author of 11 books. These include People’s War: New Light on the Struggle for South Africa and BEE: Helping or Hurting? She is also the editor of @Liberty, the IRR’s policy bulletin, and has written extensively on property rights, land reform, the mining sector, the proposed National Health Insurance (NHI) system, and a growth-focused alternative to BEE.