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The Democratic Alliance supports land reform and restitution but will never support any seizure of private property‚ says DA leader Mmusi Maimane.

Speaking at the DA’s Mpumalanga provincial congress on Saturday‚ Maimane said economic growth and advancement required the guarantee of property rights.

“If people do not feel secure that what they own will not be arbitrarily and coercively seized from them‚ there will be no incentive to invest‚ to innovate‚ and to build productive businesses‚” he cautioned.

Maimane added that the Constitution‚ as it currently stood‚ did not in any way limit or even slow down the state from land restitution and reform programmes. In fact‚ the Constitution specifically called for such programmes.

“So why are we even having this debate? The truth is‚ this is a lazy attempt to scapegoat the Constitution instead of owning up to the real causes for the failure to reform land: bad policy‚ corruption and chronic underfunding‚” the DA leader asserted.

“Current ANC policy for land reform‚ shared by the EFF‚ is that the state should be the owner of all land.

“This means that no black people are actually able to own land as beneficiaries of land reform. This state owned land is then to be parcelled out with short and medium term leases.

“This is a patronising‚ insulting policy that shows that the ANC and the EFF do not trust black farmers enough to actually give them full ownership.

“It is their intention to turn black farmers into permanent tenants of the state. Can you imagine the corruption that comes with that!” Maimane added.

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