South Africa’s Deputy President, Paul Mashatile, has emphasized the importance of unity within the ANC. He stated that the party cannot effectively deliver services if it is divided by factions. Mashatile believes that the ANC’s strength lies in its ability to remain united, which would allow the party to increase its support and better serve communities.
Mashatile addressed the issues of crime, corruption, and gender-based violence. He mentioned that the country has implemented new laws to combat GBV. President Cyril Ramaphosa signed the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act, the Criminal and Related Matters Amendment Act, and the Domestic Violence Act last year, to fight GBV in the country.
“The ANC wants to build unity. We need to unite, work together, and end factionalism. If we work as factions we will not be able to deliver. We will not be able to bring about a better life in our communities,” said Mashatile.
“The leadership of the ANC said this journey is not the journey from 2019. This is a 30-year journey.
“We also look at where we started since 1994 when this country became a democracy. We have decided we will not start with the manifesto for 2024 before we review the past manifestos with our people,” said Mashatile.
An important issue that needs to be addressed is the matter of land ownership. There are approximately 5,000 pending land claims that were submitted before the 1998 deadline. Fortunately, the government has been able to settle 83,000 land claims thus far. Recently, President Ramaphosa signed the Land Court Bill into law. This bill will establish a permanent court to handle disputes related to land ownership.
The Land Court is set to have permanent judges thanks to a new law that allows for the abolishment of the Land Claims Court. This will establish a permanent Land Court complete with permanent judicial officers. In addition, Mashatile has been appointed as the chairperson of the International Ministerial Committee on Land Reform by Ramaphosa since he became deputy president. Mashatile has indicated that there is a pressing need to expedite the land reform program in the country.
“Our people have received over 3.4 million hectares of land, but there is still much work to be done to ensure a faster distribution of land and restitution. The President has tasked me with the responsibility of expediting land reform, redistribution, and restitution,” stated Mashatile.
“I have traveled across the country meeting with traditional leaders, Premiers, MECs, executive mayors, and NGOs, emphasizing the importance of fast-tracking the land process so that our people can participate in agriculture and ensure food security.”
Mashatile stressed that the issue of land is essential for the economy.