The Land and all in it are ours!


Who are we?

1. Black First Land First (BLF) is a Pan Afrikanist and Black Consciousness Revolutionary organisation registered with the Independent Electoral Commission. BLF holds that the primary contradiction in South Africa was created in 1652 with the arrival of the settler colonialists from Europe. This contradiction today is White
Supremacy which in the economic sphere manifests as White Monopoly Capital. The organising logic of White Supremacy is land theft.

2. Notice of “Invitation for Written Comments on the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Bill [B15D-2013]” which is published on the parliament website (
bears reference.

Land and justice

3. The resolution of the question of “Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development” is dependent on the resolution of the land question which in turn is central to the realization of black liberation. The necessary precondition to this end is to ensure that the land is returned by any means necessary without paying for it. Without land there is no freedom or dignity. Land is the basis of the freedom, identity, spiritual well-being, economic development and culture of black people.

4. The call for land expropriation without compensation made by President Zuma is a critically important step in the right direction and the committee has to adopt this as the primary principle to realise the transformation of the minerals and petroleum sector. We can’t talk about minerals and petroleum without addressing the land
question first.

5. All of the land in South African in white hands was stolen from black people. Therefore, all white people who hold land including, in this case, the mines are in possession of stolen property. This stolen land includes all of its endowments on its surface, together with all the fortunes underground as well as the sky – all of it belongs to black people.

6. Justice will only prevail once the stolen land is returned to the black majority. Since thieves are not known to be generous people who voluntarily return stolen goods, this places the responsibility of redress and justice on the shoulders of the dispossessed. The battle for land by any means necessary is not only a battle for an important economic commodity (land amounts to more than just its economic value), it’s also about who we are and about those who perished in the many brutal colonial wars in defense of the land. Land return shall heal black people!

Nationalisation and socialization of the mineral and natural resources

7. On the subject matter of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Bill [B15D-2013], BLF calls for the nationalisation and socialization of the mineral and natural resources. This in turn entails the democratization of the economy through nationalizing 100% of its commanding heights.

8. Ownership, control and management of all mineral wealth shall translate into direct ownership by the people and state protection of people’s rights.

What is to be done?

Broad based meaningful economic empowerment

9. In line with achieving the main goals of ensuring the radical transformation of the economy, eradicating poverty, creating jobs and other means of livelihood, maintaining macroeconomic stability and developing, enhancing and sustaining the economy’s capacity to produce goods and services – ideological guidelines and policy to inform the achievement of these goals must be devised and implemented.

10. To this end the issue of Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development shall focus on Broad Based Meaningful Economic Empowerment to ensure that the majority of South Africans are integrated, through the State, into the mainstream economy and that the people become drivers and beneficiaries of the economic activities in the country.

11. More specifically, ideological guidelines and policy must be devised to elaborate on inter alia the following as a means to achieve Broad Based Meaningful Economic Empowerment:

a. Community Share Ownership Schemes so as to:

i) counter the culture of the patronizing Corporate Social Responsibility concessionary programs that has traditionally characterised big mining businesses;

ii) secure for the community a proportion (at least 20%) of the equity in the mining businesses;

iii) secure for the community meaningful proportional representation in the official control and management structure of the scheme;

iv) enable communities to benefit from the natural resources of the country, and;

v) reinforce the role of the communities in economic development by enabling them to make the right decisions in terms their empowerment priorities.

b. Worker and State Share Ownership schemes so as to:

i) ensure that workers participate through the medium of having direct equity stake in the mining enterprise they are working in;

ii) secure for the workers a significant proportion (at least 20%) of the equity in the mining enterprises;

iii. secure for the workers meaningful proportional representation in the official control and management structures of schemes;

iv) secure for the workers sufficient all round job satisfaction and stable employment, and;

v) reinforce the role of workers in the development and increase of industrialization for import substitution by enabling them to make the right decisions in terms their empowerment priorities.

c. Direct Equity Participation schemes so as to:

i) ensure black majority shareholding in all strategic economic actions;

ii) ensure all mergers, restructurings, unbundling of business, de-mergers, relinquishment of a controlling interest shall comply with the black majority shareholding requirement, and;

iii) ensure that any direct equity achieved from c (i) and (ii) as well as from the Worker Share Ownership Schemes and Community Share ownership schemes shall serve the sole purpose of ensuring that participation and ownership in the economic activities of the country maintain and perpetuate the total nationalization of the commanding heights of the economy so as to facilitate the rectification of past injustices including poverty eradication and economic growth along black socialist lines.

d) Procurement of goods so as to:

i) facilitate import substitution through supporting the procurement of goods from indigenous South Africans.

ii) ensure that at least 70% of the goods procured by all enterprises should be procured from the indigenous population;

iii) put legislation in place to ensure that commercial contracts are concluded with indigenous entrepreneurs so as to guarantee the development of indigenous businesses, the enhancement of livelihoods and the ultimate growth of the economy of South Africa.

e. National Sovereign Wealth Development Fund so as to:

i) reduce the wide gap between the rich and the poor and ensure economic growth;

ii) filter the income from the nations natural resources towards the rectification of past injustices including poverty eradication and economic growth;

iii) address the finite status of mineral resources by developing secondary industries as alternative bases of development after the mineral resources have been depleted, and;

iv) finance development programs across the country so as to stimulate the growth of the country’s economy.

f. Strategic Sector Specific Frameworks so as to:

i) ensure that the indigenous black majority participates in the various strategic sectors such as mining, education, agriculture, manufacturing, communication, finance, tourism etc so as to facilitate the rectification of past injustices including poverty eradication and economic growth.

Strategic objective

12. The Black Agenda shall devise and recommend Ideological guidelines to elaborate on:

i) the mechanisms to be put in place to ensure that the system of state monopoly capitalism, that Direct Equity Participation schemes will tend to feed into and perpetuate, is made to serve the interests of the whole people so as to cease to be state capitalism;

ii) the need for the reorganization and higher development of industry and to that end its adjustment to the needs of the black majority as a crucial aspect of the realization of economic freedom along socialist lines to replace racial capitalism;

iii) the mechanisms to be put in place to ensure that the above Direct Equity Participation schemes do not serve to create and promote (as a reactionary strategic objective) an indigenous anti-black bourgeoisie coexisting with or replacing the current one, and;

iv) the mechanisms to be put in place to ensure that the above Direct Equity Participation schemes serve to destroy the current anti-black neo colonial economic order and replace it with one that is responsive to people’s needs.

13. BLF notes that the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Bill will vest in the minerals department the power to promote as well as oversee mining. In this context mines can transgress environmental issues with impunity as the minerals department is unlikely to shut them down and give up its income.

14. The amendments would further promote and entrench inequality between the owners of mines and the black majority. To this end it ensures that mining companies would not respond to the environmental and water affairs that are integrally related to mineral affairs. By extension, mining companies would not respond to the needs of black local communities.

On penal provisions

15. The penalties attached to the infringement of environmental laws carry much heavier sentences for offenders than those attached to the infringement of mining laws where the environment is found to have been harmed.

16. To this end, for a first time offender regarding environmental law a fine of R5 million or five years term of imprisonment may be imposed whereas for a first time offender regarding mining legislation, a fine of R100 000 and or a term of two years imprisonment may be imposed. It must be pointed out that both these penal provisions are shockingly lenient.

17. Penalties must equate to 50% of the annual turn over for the guilty party or a term of of imprisonment of 10 years.

Silence on Zama Zamas

18. The Amedment Act is silent on the so called Zama Zama’s. These are the real miners and owners of the land. BLF calls for the legal recognition of the artisanal or small scale miners known as Zama Zamas. These are the real owners of the minerals in our country. They are not a foreign force here to exploit and murder like the British Lonmin Mining which, with the help of the Deputy President Mr
Ramaphosa, conducted the Marikana Massacre. These white owned mines continue to terrorise our people and even murder them.

19. BLF advices that the Amendment Bill incorporates provisions for formal recognition of the Zama Zama miners (decriminalisation). Also that the state and mining houses be tasked with ensuring the safety of the Zama Zama miners. Furthermore, that the state be the official buyer from the Zama Zama miners. This will end the criminality encouraged by WMC which robs the Zama Zama miners through illegal buying of their products.

20. The Amendment Act should include provisions for freeing all currently arrested Zama Zamas and for an annual evaluation of the Artisanal mining sector.

BLF Supports the Mining Charter of 2017

21. The proposal is that the Amendment Bill should be brought in line with the provisions of Mining Charter. Only defenders of white monopoly capital and those who are controlled by British imperialism would oppose the Mining Charter. It’s the most radical and revolutionary policy directive since 1994.

22. Who can, in their right minds, oppose these provisions?

i. Ownership

•​Minimum 30% BEE for all mining rights to be apportioned as follows:

– 8% employees
– 8% mining communities
– 14% black entrepreneurs

• Right-holders who are already at 30% black shareholding are not required to
• Minimum 50% plus 1 Black Person shareholding for all new prospecting rights; must include voting rights.
• Right-holder to pay 1% of annual turnover to the 30% BEE prior to any distributions to its shareholders. Provisions of Companies Act 71, 2008 will apply
• A right holder who claims a Historical BEE Transaction (transaction that achieved 26% prior to 2017 Charter) must top up to 30% within 12 months. This applies even where the black person shareholding is no longer 26% due to either a BEE partner exiting or the contract with the BEE partner lapsing or the transfer of shares by the BEE partner to non-BEE persons.
• A right holder who has maintained 26% black person shareholding is required to top up its black person shareholding to 30% within 12 months of the 2017 Mining Charter coming into effect.

ii. ​Employment equity

• Board level: 50% black; 25% to be women
• Executive/Top management: 50% black; 25% to be women
• Senior management: 60% black; 30% to be women
• Middle management: 75% black; 38% to be women
• Junior management: 88% black; 44% to be women

iii.​ Procurement

• 70% of all mining goods to be from BEE entities
• 80% of all services to be from BEE entities
• 100% of mineral samples to be analysed by SA-based firms
• Foreign suppliers to pay 1% of their annual turnover to the Mining Transformation and Development Agency.

iv.​ Beneficiation

• A maximum offsetting of 11% against BEE shareholding; must meet the following criteria:

– invested in beneficiation since 2004;
– the beneficiation must be in line with the definition of beneficiation contained in the MPRDA;
– the Department of Mineral Resources must approve such beneficiation;
-11% offsetting will not apply to beneficiation that started after 2004 but has since ceased or that has been terminated; and
-11% offsetting can only be claimed if the beneficiation is still ongoing.

v.​ Housing and living conditions

• Principles as set out in the Housing and Living Conditions Standards for the Mining and Minerals Industry developed in terms of section 100(1)(a) of the MPRDA which includes:

– decent standards of housing;
– centrality of home ownership;
– provision for social, physical and economic integrated human settlements;
– ​involvement of employees in the housing administrative system;
– affordable, equitable and sustainable health system; and
– proper nutrition requirements and standards.

vi. Human resource development

• 5% investment of the Leviable Amount on skills development, apportioned as follows:

– 2% on essential skills development activities such as artisanal training, bursaries, literacy and numeracy skills for employees and non-employees (community members);
– 1% towards South African Historically Black Academic Institutions; and
– 2% towards the Mining Transformation and Development Agency.

23. BLF calls on this Committee to make the Mining Charter an intergral part of the Amendment Act and to strengthen the monitoring and evaluation responsibility – for instance, the Mining Charter makes provision for 30% black owners in 12 months. It’s up to the committee to make it a legislative imperative to report on a quarterly basis the progress being made.

Transform the banking system now!

24. The important reforms of the mining sector are going to be sabotaged by the colonial, racist and corrupt banking sector. There is no point in allocating these important percentages of ownership in the mining sector to blacks when white monopoly capital has total control over the financial sector, specifically banking.

25. This Committee must of necessity in the interests of wholistic Radical Economic Transformation, act in tandem with in particular the Treasury. It has to be impressed upon Minister Malusi Gigaba that his reluctance to move with great speed in licencing black banks and a State bank is an act of self sabotage.

26. Treasury must be employed to immediately fully licence the banks that are black or State owned (but are treated like second class citizens) – such as the Ithala Bank; the Venda Building Society (VBS), Postbank – and assist private black banks. All this must happen immediately or blacks are going to be at the mercy of rogue banks like ABSA.

27. We can’t afford half measures if we want Radical Economic Transformation!

20 June 2017
Andile Mngxitama
BLF President

“Don’t sell us out again!” A response to the ANC policy discussion documents


This is an appeal to the branches and progressive section of the leadership of the African National Congress (ANC) and more especially the delegates to the 5th National Policy Conference of the ruling party. The plea of Black First Land First (BLF) to the ANC in short is, “please don’t sell us out again!” Our country is at the crossroads. Great opportunities now exist for a great “leap forward” so as to give content to the Radical Economic Transformation (RET) agenda. However, there are also great dangers facing all the progressive and revolutionary forces of our nation. We believe that the first act towards the realisation of RET is to recognise the present period as characterised by heightened imperialist aggression on the progressive peoples and leaders the world over. The global imperialist war manifests as a fight back by white monopoly capital in South Africa. White monopoly capital is not a myth. It is one of the most deadly fronts of imperialism with the objective of maintaining global white domination.

The consequence of this realisation (that we are facing an imperialist attack) is the need to close ranks by all patriotic and anti-imperialist forces, irrespective of any narrow differences. Recognizing that the best form of defence against imperialism is radical economic transformation which must of necessity have a direct positive impact in the lives of the majority of the popular classes and strata in society that is, workers, peasants, the unemployed, women, youth, students, black middle class and the precarious aspirant patriotic black bourgeois. Failure to rapidly, and in a sustained way, meet the basic needs of the popular classes and strata serves to surrender this important social force to reactionary forces. To break up the imperialist momentum, the ANC policy conference must pronounce unequivocally on the side of RET.

Who are we?

Black First Land First (BLF) is an anti-imperialist formation essentially concerned with black liberation through the defeat of the global system of white supremacy which in the economic sphere, manifests as white monopoly capital (WMC). We recognize that global white supremacy reproduces itself through pro imperialist regime changes which in turn is organised through the manipulation of civil society; bribing and sponsoring opposition parties as well as sections of the ruling party; and the brazen deployment of mass misinformation campaigns so as to turn the popular classes against progressive leaders and their governments. We further note that the triumph of the pro imperialist forces leads to the collective ruin of all. We therefore require a collective response of all, so as to ensure our collective survival as well as our national sovereignty.

A progressive response to imperialism was provided by Mao Tse Tung during China’s anti imperialist war against Japan. Mao teaches us that during an imperialist attack differences as they may exist amongst the people including their organisations, become a secondary contradiction which is superseded by the primary contradiction of imperialist invasion. If imperialism triumphs as in the regime change calls, then the forward march of history would be arrested. However, an imperialist crisis also opens up the opportunity to undertake a radical social and political process so as to address the historical challenges facing the people. The phase that we currently find ourselves in in South Africa (SA) presents both aspects – the danger of imperialist domination or the opportunity for Radical Economic Transformation.

First message

Our first message to the ANC branches and the policy conference delegates is, we need to recognise that:

1. 1994 “democratic break through” did not signify the end of white supremacy. The 23 years of democracy bears testimony to this truth.
2. The consequence of the above is the total domination by WMC of all segments of the economy and society.
3. Since economic power in the “final analysis” determines the true nature of society it means ipso facto SA is a racist anti black society, notwithstanding formal declarations to the contrary.
4. Central to the above observations is the truth that the black majority is a people detached from their territory through land dispossession – therefore, we blacks are tenants in our own land.
5. The rights of tenants are determined by the landlords. In the past 23 years black lives have been determined by the desires of those who, de facto, hold our territory.
6. The imperialist attack is calculated to entrench the anti black status quo that is meant to keep the black majority in bondage.

RET is the Solution!

To break free from the stranglehold of WMC and imperialism there is only one real solution and that is, Radical Economic Transformation. One must not bargain with imperialism! One must vanquish imperialism by uprooting it at the base and crushing its branches completely. There can be no accommodation with forces representing imperialism and WMC.

Key elements of RET

There is a deliberate widespread feigning of ignorance by opponents of transformation about what RET is about. Here are the key elements of RET that we need to keep in mind:

1. Land expropriation without compensation.
2. Nationalisation of banks, insurance companies and mines.
3. Nationalisation of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB).
4. Establishment of state banks.
5. Free decolonised quality education.
6. Universal access to free quality healthcare for all
7. Employment through national reconstruction.

Contesting perspectives

Any honest observer would recognise that there is currently a deep contestation within the ruling party on the policy direction that must be undertaken. On the one hand, the President of the country has provided a clear direction in terms of a progressive agenda as summarised in the 2017 State of the Nation Address (SONA). The progressive direction was encapsulated in the unequivocal commitment to “land expropriation without compensation” as foundational to reconciliation and justice. This clarity has alarmed white monopoly capital. The President has furthermore called for black unity to realise land restoration. This is pivotal for black emancipation. The President, in the same SONA, provided a framework towards realising the RET.

On the other side of the divide, are representatives of imperialism inside the ANC who are working to defend the pro white monopoly capital status quo. These elements have been brazen and open with their agenda of targeting the President and working openly with the reactionary London controlled opposition parties. These same forces have been openly giving support to calls for regime change and a coup to reinforce the domination of WMC. They have coalesced around the former Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan. These pro imperialist forces inside the ANC have worked hard to undermine the turn towards RET. They understand that President Zuma is today the embodiment of a radical agenda, hence the concerted efforts to remove him and to sabotage his vision. The ideological strategy of this pro WMC faction is to deny the very existence of WMC.

Defeat the imperialism faction!

There is no middle ground. The imperialist faction must be defeated, if RET is to become a reality. The timidity and ambiguous language permeating the current ANC policy discussion documents reflect the influence of the pro WMC faction. The cowardice of the agents of WMC inside the ANC can be corrected by the bravery of the branches. It is shameful to read how the ruling party is made to distance itself in the policy discussion documents from land expropriation without compensation or nationalisation of SARB. Most of the drafters of the discussion policy documents are committed to the current status qou and are opposed to the RET.

The pro WMC faction presents a mortal danger to the ANC and its hold to power. The electoral decline of the ANC in the metropolitan cities is a direct consequence of the pro WMC policies which the faction wants to maintain. This is a recipe for disaster. A clean break must be made with the neoliberal policies which have maintained white domination. The following picture has to change:

1. Only 35 000 white families and trusts own 80% of the land.
2. WMC owns 97% of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).
3. A white household earns 6 times more than a black one.

What is the primary stumbling block to economic transformation?

White monopoly capital hegemony

The single most important stumbling block to economic transformation is the hold on the economy by WMC. WMC is not a fictitious creation by spin doctors. It’s real! The South African economy is owned and controlled by a few white families. On top of that list are the Oppenheimers and the Ruperts.

White supremacy manifests as WMC in the economic sphere. Therefore, without ending WMC there is no possibility of liberation – not just economic liberation. The control of the economy by a few leads to the control of the whole state by the same few. The South African state is captured by WMC and it is doing everything to demonize and remove anyone who is pursuing Radical Economic Transformation or is seen as threatening the interests of the same WMC.

WMC is inherently corrupt

The power and influence derived from the control of the economy by WMC makes it inherently corrupt. WMC can do this with impunity because it de facto owns the state and the media.

The Competition Commission has been revealing the corrupt nature of WMC. To this end, 17 banks have been found to be corrupt. In December 2015 these banks disappeared R500 billion from the JSE within two days as part of the strategy of economic terrorism to pressurize President Zuma to appoint Pravin Gordhan as Minister of Finance. SA loses R60 billion annually to illegal capital flight by WMC. In 2007, a shocking 20% of the GDP was lost to illicit cash flows by WMC.

The leaked report of the Public Protector, Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane, also shows that ABSA is a direct beneficiary of theft from the SARB. The Ciex report, which was commissioned by former President Thabo Mbeki shows that over R26 billion was stolen by very specific white entities, including banks and the Rupert family.

WMC also controls law making. As we speak there are media speculations that a number of Members of Parliament (MPs) are captured by WMC so as to vote against President Zuma. This explains why the London controlled opposition parties are working so hard for a secret ballot. They know that there are ANC MPs who are bought by WMC. The legislature itself is under the influence of the same WMC.

What about the judiciary?

In April, 2017 Justine Lewis informed the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance that even the courts are captured by WMC. Lewis presented shocking evidence indicating that Johann Rupert’s influence goes up to the office of the highest court in the land. He told the committee that in,

“2016 The Hawks judge approved an investigation especially with regard to the following concerns;

i) The allegations of extortion against the wheel chair bound widow by her SA bank in charge of protecting her pension left in trust for her late husband

ii) The alleged use of bribery of court officials

iii) The permission for access to evidence from the office of the chief justice re allegations of trial fixing, and the alleged protection of the banks and businessman Johan Rupert by the same office for obstructing the course of justice by refusing this access”

There is also the indirect control of the judiciary by virtue of the shared value system with the whole MWC complex.

What about the media?

The concentration of the media in the same few hands makes the South African media to be highly biased in favour of WMC. The white owned media is the bulldog of WMC. Anyone who is seen as a threat to the interests of WMC is demonized. We see it now with the unwarranted attacks on the Advisor to the Minister of Finance Professor Chris Malikane. All these shouldn’t surprise us because we know, to paraphrase Karl Marx, that the dominant ideas in any society are the ideas of the ruling class – the ruling class being those who own the means of production. In SA the ruling class is therefore WMC.

Impact of WMC

WMC domination has ensured systematic exclusion of blacks from the economy. This monopoly has ensured high unemployment on the one hand and high cost of living on the other hand through price fixing and other manipulations of the economy.

WMC, the biggest beneficiary of Tenders

At the 2017 SONA, President Zuma showed that the government spends R500 billion on procurement in a single financial year and another R900 billion on infrastructure. All this money ends up in the pockets of WMC but ironically it is the black businesses that are accused of corruption.

Here, the example of the South African Airways (SAA) is most instructive. The State Owned Entity (SOE), SAA, spends R24 billion annually on procurement. 98% of this R24 billion goes to white owned entities. This means blacks only get 2% of that figure. When the chairperson of the SAA Board, Mrs Dudu Myeni, tried to change this anomaly she was turned into an evil incompetent manager by the white owned media. The same goes for Brian Molefe and many other owners.

WMC shall never voluntarily let go of its control of the economy. It has to be compelled.

What is to be done?

Firstly, we must deal with the structural corruption of WMC. To this end the following must be effected:

1. A Judicial Commission of Inquiry on apartheid corruption informed amongst others by the CIEX report, must be instituted.
2. A Judicial Commission of Inquiry on the banks must be instituted. The terms of reference must include an inquiry into the closure of the Oakbay accounts.
3. A Judicial Commission of Inquiry on SAA, with specific regard to the role played by Coleman Andrews in creating the systematic problems of the national carrier, must be instituted.
4. The Competition Act must be amended to bring the penalties in line with the crimes committed by the offending parties. The current penalty system encourages corruption. To this end the offending parties must be penalized by the payment of 100% of the turnover for each year of transgression.

Radical Economic Transformation proposals

We call on the ANC to adopt the Malikane proposals. Professor Malikane has presented clear and rational proposals to give content to RET.

The Malikane proposals

If we hope to transform the financial sector and the economy, then we must adopt the following proposals.

A new National Economic Plan, which outlines how the following key demands can immediately be realised:

1. Expropriation of white monopoly capitalist establishments, such as banks, insurance companies, mines and other monopoly industries, to industrialise the economy.
2. Establishment of a state bank, which will consolidate all the state-owned financial institutions to facilitate affordable credit to the progressive class forces.
3. Nationalisation of the South African Reserve Bank.
4. Expropriation of all land without compensation.

These measures will ensure the provision of free quality social services such as:

a. Free, quality and decolonised education
b. Free and quality healthcare – National Health Insurance
c. Improved quality housing, community infrastructure, etc.
d. Affordable and safe public transport
e. Affordable and reliable basic services such as water, sanitation and electricity

Reforming the Banking system

We call on the ANC delegates to resolve to transform the banking system through specific actions with clear deadlines, namely:

1. Establish fully licenced black banks such as Ithala, VBS and PostBank within a year.
2. Establish a state bank in each province within 12 months.
3. Immediately terminate all government accounts with ABSA.
4. Nationalise the SARB within 12 months.
5. Raise the percentage for black-owned businesses for procurement spent from government to 80% (set asides).
6. The state banking system must operate on the principle of “Interest Free Loans” to blacks.

Three Pillars of RET

RET has to be the instrument of the popular classes and not a weapon for the enrichment of a few. For this to happen, the following three guidelines must be observed:

1. Constitutional amendment/reform;
2. Mass direct action against WMC; and
3.Prioritisation of the poor and the working people to benefit from RET.

1. Constitutional amendment/reform

The call to amend section 25 of the Constitution to realise “land expropriation without compensation” must be supported without hesitation. There is national consensus that land must not be bought back. There is no historical, political or even economic reasons to oppose the call for the amendment of the Constitution so as to facilitate land return. This call has the support of the State President and therefore enough political support from within the state system.

2. Mass direct action

If we wait for politicians to resolve the land and economic questions, we would wait forever. The best way to support land redistribution and RET is to undertake mass direct action against WMC and land thieves. The reactionary defenders of the status qou have increasingly mobilised for the control and hegemony over mass protests. All counter revolutionary processes seek to legitimise themselves through mass protests. It’s a mistake to surrender mass direct action to the reactionary forces. Mass action for land return, through land occupations by the popular forces, is the best form of action to give impetus to the call for constitutional reform. Furthermore, land occupation help to build a mass movement at the base which is self-actualising. There is no contradiction at all between land occupation and constitutional reform. On the contrary, there exist a dialectical relationship which can harness the struggle for land return.

3. The Poor Must Benefit First

RET has to be explicit about the direct benefit that has to accrue to the poor and the working people. The poor must not benefit from “Trickle Down” logic but through direct ownership and share in the wealth of the nation. All the reforms in the economy must define how the poor and the working people will benefit. A clear commitment to the poor is central to the success and legitimacy of the RET. While there is an acknowledgement that sections of the black middle class as well as the aspirant and currently dependent black bourgeoisie must benefit, these relatively privileged groups must however not benefit ahead of the popular classes and the working people.


The battle for land return and RET is a political battle in the final analysis. The settler colonialists used political power to address the interests of the white minority. The black majority must do the same. The ruling party has the biggest electoral support amongst our people and therefore has the political power to drive a RET agenda. However, this is only possible if the ruling party is clear about where it stands with regard to WMC. If the ANC Policy Conference fails to speak with one clear and radical voice, then the project of land return and RET shall suffer a setback of not less than twenty years. It’s up to the ANC branches and delegates to the Policy Conference to assume the position of being agents of history and provide clear leadership for the return of the land and for Radical Economic Transformation. It can be done!

Issued by Black First Land First, National Coordinating Committee (BLF NCC)

5 June 2017

Contact details

Black First Land First Email:[email protected]
Facebook: Black First Land First | Twitter: @black1stland1st

Zanele Lwana
(National Spokesperson)
Cell: +27 79 986 7225

Lindsay Maasdorp
(National Spokesperson)
Cell: +27 79 915 2957

Brian Tloubatla
(Deputy National Spokesperson)
Cell: +27 82 216 7664