- The party's chief whip, Jackson Mthembu, says the issue will be address before May 8
- This represents a complete flip from the ANC's original position
- Some have speculated that the ANC is trying to use the issue to win votes
Jackson Mthembu, the ANC's chief whip, made a sudden announcement that parliament would amend the constitution to allow for expropriation without compensation before the upcoming elections.
He made the comments during parliament's session to debate Cyril Ramaphosa's SONA.
This comes just ten days after Mthembu said that the issue would only be addressed by the next parliament after May 8.
Mthembu's announcement gives parliament only six weeks in which to address the issue of land expropriation, along with the other matters that still need to be dealt with, according to the Sunday Times.
Previously, the chief whip has said that amending the constitution in this way would take between six months to a year. He added that it would be impossible to finish before the upcoming elections.
"If there is no possibility of you concluding this work, why start it?" Mthembu said.
The decision to begin the amendment process now marks a complete flip from the ANC's previous position. As a result, some have speculated that the move is an attempt to woo voters ahead of the election. Previously, the party has been accused of using land expropriation as a campaign ploy.
This comes as expropriation without compensation seems set to become a hot-button issue of this year's election, with the EFF strongly supporting it and the DA condemning it.
The policy is certainly a controversial one. For some, it represents redress for historical injustice. For others, it's a path to economic ruin.
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