David Mabuza. Picture: SOWETAN
David Mabuza. Picture: SOWETAN

The nationalisation of land in SA is not an option and the state will focus on issuing title deeds to land reform beneficiaries, deputy president David Mabuza said on Thursday.

"Our land reform programme seeks to transfer title deeds to individual owners … it doesn’t help the state to keep the land to itself," Mabuza said during a question and answer session in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) on Thursday.

While Mabuza was addressing the NCOP on land, things grew heated in the national assembly where the joint constitutional review committee is holding public hearings on the possibility of amending section 25 or the property clause of the constitution to make it clear how land could be expropriated without compensation.

There were fiery exchanges between Afrikaner rights group AfriForum and MPs across the political spectrum as the lobby group made its submissions.

In his submission to the committee, AfriForum’s Ernst Roets said that the "biggest historic fallacy is that whites stole the land".

He added: "The great risk in pursuing land justice in South Africa is that it is done by weakening property rights and with a final solution … the policy [expropriation without compensation] is built on the false argument that the eroding of property rights and tampering with healthy market principles will lead to economic growth."

Referring to the ANC and EFF, Roets said they were drunk on the ideology of the failed national democratic revolution.

His submission prompted an angry reaction from MPs, with some saying he was "drunk on hatred … sheer insanity".

EFF chief whip Floyd Shivambu said: "I honestly think we should not be agitated by Afrikaner racist children…. They are trying to mobilise the international community against the state, that is treasonous … but we are a democratic country so we have to live with kids who express anti-black racism…. If you are threatening us with war, we are more than ready."

African Christian Democratic Party MP Steve Swart described AfriForum’s submission as "arrogant" and said it would take the country backwards.

DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach said her party did not align itself with the presentation, and added that AfriForum had "missed [an] opportunity".

In his response to questions in the NCOP, Mabuza said the reality was that "our land reform programme, in its current construct, remains hopelessly inadequate to mitigate the negative impact of the legacy of colonialism and apartheid".

This state of affairs continued "to be a huge source of frustration and resentment to those who were brutally dispossessed of their land".