Marxism & the land – Appendix

We have outlined the Marxist approach to the land question. We will leave it to our readers whether they think that the nationalists or the Marxists have ‘the edge’ on this issue. We have looked through the websites and the latest manifestos of the nationalist organisation to try and find their most developed programme and policy on the land. We have tried to be as fair as possible in selecting extracts from the material publicly available. We leave it to your judgement…




BLACK FIRST! Black people are the first people on earth! We blacks gave the white world life and civilization but slavery, colonialism and apartheid have put blacks last. We are now correcting this injustice by calling for Black First! By black we mean all those who are oppressed and dispossessed by colonialism and apartheid. The system of divide and rule has been sustained by creating misunderstandings amongst the oppressed. In this context the elites from within the black community have further fuelled tribal animosities. Black First seeks to end all divisions and contradictions amongst the people so as to consolidate them into a united strong block against white racism and dispossession. Black First follows the liberating truth that “the last shall be first”. We have been overlooked for far too long! Putting Black First means ending suffering, poverty, landlessness and all the other ills of white supremacy that characterize the black condition. Black First is a call for blacks to love themselves, to care for each other and to fight for their liberation and dignity.

LAND FIRST! Without land there is no freedom or dignity. We want Land First because it is the basis of our freedom, our identity, our spiritual well-being, our economic development and culture. The land of Africans was stolen and this theft has rendered us landless in our own land. We want all the land with all of its endowments on its surface together with all the fortunes underground as well as the sky. All of it belongs to us! We are a people crying for our stolen land! Now we have decided to get it back by any means necessary!



(2016 municipal election manifesto):

PREAMBLE. The PAC believes that the African land, inclusive of its mineral resources, its air, and its oceans, is the inheritance and property of the indigenous African People. That it belongs to the past generation, the current and the future generation. That the current generation rightfully become the custodians of the land and that they, will pass it onto the generation yet unborn.

BACKGROUND. The Pan-Africanist Congress of Azania believes that the African kingship and chieftainship must be respected and upheld as an important historical institution and the custodian of both our culture and our heritage.

We believe that the local government in the rural communities under the kings and chiefs must have a total and complete respect to the chiefs and their land and they must not be reduced to being subservient to the councillor.



(2016 municipal election manifesto):


  1. a) The EFF People’s Municipality will pass by-laws which will expropriate and allocate land equitably to all residents of the Municipality for residential, recreational, industrial, religious, and agricultural purposes and activities with the principle of use it or lose it.
  2. b) The EFF’s People Municipality will allocate Municipal land to ordinary citizens and ensure that it is used maximally for residential, sporting, recreational, religious and industrial purposes.
  3. c) The EFF’s People Municipality will provide bulk services to all land designated for residential purposes and ALLOCATE STANDS TO PEOPLE FOR FREE through an open and transparent mechanism.
  4. d) The EFF’s People Municipality will provide land for burial purposes and WILL AVOID THE RE-USE OF GRAVES as is the case in many areas in South Africa.
  5. e) The EFF’s People Municipality will provide bulk irrigation services to all agricultural land and ensure that all agricultural land is fenced.
  6. f)The EFF’s People Municipality will initiate, support and sustain programmes that train the people on agriculture with the aim of increasing agricultural productivity.
  7. g) The EFF’s People Municipality will avail land for recreational and sporting fields and facilities.
  8. h) The EFF’s People Municipality will provide land for free for the purposes of building places of worship and religious institutions



(2014 national election manifesto):


1) The EFF Government believes that without equal redistribution of land, there will never be genuine economic freedom, which is necessary if all our social welfare objectives are to be delivered in our lifetime.

2) The EFF Government will pass legislation to take all land to the custodianship of the State and all those who occupy and use the land will need to apply for the re-issue of licences to use it for agricultural purposes and other sustainable economic activities.

3) The EFF Government will ensure that land redistribution is equitable and its ownership and control reflects the demographics of South Africa, and those who work on the land will be given priority on land use.

4) The EFF Government will abolish all forms of foreign land ownership, and will institute a land lease system for foreign investors and companies to use the land for sustainable economic activities.

5) The EFF Government will adopt a principle of “use it or lose it” on land use, where those who do not use the land, loose it to the custodianship of the State.

6) The EFF Government will make it illegal for land to be used as surety for banks loans.



(2014 national election manifesto):

On Rural Development And Agriculture

Rural communities have very little to celebrate for the past twenty years. They have endured nothing but neglect and poor service delivery from successive governments. Non-existent or poor infrastructure, children learning under trees, learners who still have to walk long distances to school, no public transportation, no healthcare facilities and no recreational facilities are the hallmarks of rural living.

The legacy of apartheid derived land ownership patterns continue to have a negative impact on the capacity of black people to provide a sustainable livelihood through, among other things, agriculture.

To improve the situation and to bring prosperity and wellbeing to rural areas and ensure food security for the country, an AZAPO government will:

  • Work in an inclusive manner with traditional authorities
  • Pay special attention to rural municipalities and strengthen their effectiveness
  • Expand the footprint of the public healthcare system in rural areas by ensuring, at a minimum, existence of municipal healthcare facilities that provide primary healthcare and are able to, at least, provide emergency medical treatment in order to stabilize patients needing emergency care.
  • Ensure that within a radius of 100km of rural towns there is a public healthcare facility with appropriately skilled staff that is able to provide secondary healthcare.
    • Ensure that there are recreational facilities for rural communities.
    • Introduce municipal public transport in rural areas so as to reduce the impact of transportation costs on already meagre wages earned by people living in rural areas
    • Include Communal Property Association in the integrated development plan of municipalities.
    • Build and maintain roads linking rural municipalities with regional and national roads so as to ensure efficient connection of rural areas to economic hubs in the country.
    • In developing rural economies, provide support to small scale farmers in the form of tractors to plough their fields, seeds, veterinary services and low cost transportation of their goods to markets.
    • AZAPO will correct the apartheid land distribution patterns through its land policy
    • Provide emerging black farmers with the necessary agricultural training and modern technologies to enable them to be more productive and sustainable.
    • Encourage and support cooperatives aimed at developing economies of scale for small farmers.
      • Work to lower energy costs for rural communities and farmers.
    • Invest in water and irrigation infrastructure.
    • Through its science and technology policy encourage and support research into all aspect of agriculture.
    • Allocate land for large scale farming aimed at ensuring domestic food security first and then producing for the export market.
    • Through diplomatic and trade engagements work to ensure access for South African products in international markets
    • Implement an agricultural strategy whose target is the eradication of poverty through ensuring  food security

On Land And Mineral Resources

AZAPO believes that land reconquest constitutes the historical and material basis for total liberation of black people in Azania.  To attain total liberation, black people must liberate the land completely and effectively from the system of white racism, neo-colonialism and capitalism, which have historically stunted and had a deleterious effect on the productive capabilities of black people as the rightful owners of the land.

Historically, the basic and original function of the land is to serve as the material basis for dynamic development of social and human life. Essentially, a landless people are really deprived of the material basis for social and human life development. Hence conquest and dispossession of human beings of their land is not merely dispossession of the primary means of production but also the means of exploring and realising their creative potential.

Significantly, the principles of private ownership and distribution of the land on the basis of non-egalitarian principles have been extended to foreign capitalist and other foreign nationals.  This has resulted in the coexistence of foreign private ownership with local private ownership of land.  The primary effect of foreign ownership of land has been the outflow of national wealth to foreign countries.

An AZAPO government will:

  • Vest the ownership of the land, including everything below its surface, the air above it and the sea around it, in the hands of the State.
  • Convert all title deeds for land not earmarked for expropriation into 100 years up to 150 years lease – depending on the investment already made in the land or is required for the productive use of the land
  • Scrap the current land reform policy that is based on a willing buyer–willing seller model, and replace it with the expropriating of land without compensation, which shall primarily be applicable to the land owned and controlled by big landlords and their foreign counterparts.
  • Redistribute and re-organise land for residential, industrial, agricultural, research and development in science and technology, and recreational purposes
  • Redistribute land with the view to reducing the urban-rural economic divide and reverse the patterns of apartheid spatial planning.
  • Grant prospecting and mining rights on the basis of the capacity of the applicant, economic, social and environmental impact on the community, the restorative effect of the proposal
  • Set up an agency of government responsible for the management, prospecting and mining of natural resources

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