President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: ELMOND JIYANE
President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: ELMOND JIYANE

President Cyril Ramaphosa has assured ANC volunteers in Ekurhuleni that the party is going to address the issue of land and will expropriate land without compensation.

Ramaphosa was in Tembisa on the Johannesburg East Rand launching the ANC’s Thuma Mina campaign.

"Thuma Mina" or "send me" was the catchphrase used by Ramaphosa during his maiden state of the nation address in February, indicating willingness to serve.

"We are going to take land and when we take land we are going to take it without compensation," Ramaphosa, in his capacity as ANC president, said at the launch of the campaign at the Makhulong Stadium.

"We are going to do it in the interest of our people because our people want land for housing, they want land so that they can live, they want land so that they can use it as an economic resource."

Ramaphosa, however, emphasised that the expropriation of land would not be done through land invasions, shouting "panzi land invasions, panzi (down with land invasions, down)".

"We are going to embark on an orderly process of getting land into the hands of our people."

The ANC, at its Nasrec conference in December, resolved to initiate amendments to the Constitution to include land expropriation without compensation.

Earlier in 2018, the National Assembly voted through a motion supporting land expropriation without compensation. The matter has been referred to the constitutional review committee, which will hold public hearings.

The ANC is also holding its own land summit starting in Boksburg on Saturday.

Speaking about the Thuma Mina campaign, Ramaphosa said its aim was to serve the interest of the people. He called on ANC volunteers and leaders to humble themselves and not expect anything for serving the people.

"As ANC volunteers we must also disabuse ourselves of the utterly wrong belief that when we serve our people we are doing them a favour," he said.

Ramaphosa said this also breeds a culture of entitlement, which is when corruption starts to rear its head.

Ahead of the 2019 national election the ANC president called for unity in the party, saying it could not win if it was not united.

"Fighting among us must come to an end ... If we want to win the 2019 election we the ANC must be united. Only then we will be able to defeat those who are our opposition," he said.