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ANC provincial branch to push for nationalisation: report

A provincial branch of South Africa’s ruling party ANC adopted controversial plans for the expropriation of land without compensation and the nationalisation of mines, reports said Wednesday.

“All productive land must be nationalised. Compensation must not be paid on the land itself but on improvements. The price must be determined by the state through the state evaluator,” the party’s Limpopo provincial chairman Soviet Lekganyane was shown as saying by the eNews channel.

The Limpopo branch of the African National Congress accepted a resolution on the move at the end of its leadership conference.

“We reiterate our call for nationalisation of mines and other key strategic sectors like Sasol and ArcelorMittal,” Lekganyane was quoted as saying by the Sapa news agency, referring to major oil and steel activities.

Limpopo is the first ANC provincial branch to support the two highly controversial resolutions first aired by the ANC Youth League (ANCYL).

It will push for the ruling party to adopt them as policy during its next policy conference in June 2012.

Limpopo has long been a powerbase for the ANCYL suspended leader, Julius Malema, who was elected Tuesday to a senior party post in his home province.

The 30-year-old firebrand is appealling a suspension handed down in November for bringing the party into disrepute.

The result also comes only days after ANC members in Limpopo re-elected provincial premier Cassel Mathale as their local leader, beating the candidate supported by South African President Jacob Zuma.

Some sectors within the ruling party are pushing for the nationalisation of mines to redress the economic imbalances created by the apartheid government.

They are also critical of land restitution policies to give farms back to blacks ejected during white minority rule.

Ratings agency Moody’s in November noted that nationalisation of the mines or other sectors, although unlikely to happen, would not achieve the stated aim of accelerating progress on black economic transformation.

The provincial conference highlighted divisions in the ruling party, with Malema joining delegates in singing songs mocking Zuma.

Once a staunch ally of Zuma, Malema has threatened to remove Zuma as head of the party during the ANC’s next leadership conference in December 2012.

If re-elected, Zuma will be the party’s candidate for a second presidential term in elections due in 2014.