The African National Congress today called for urgent land redistribution to end the white domination of property and to restore land that blacks lost under apartheid laws.
In its first comprehensive report on a future land policy, the group said that nationalizing property was one of several options for reaching a more equitable distribution of land."In the context of a mixed economy, there would only be selective nationalization, and . . . the distribution of this land would be based on land-use needs," the report said.
It said landowners in those cases would be compensated in cash and bonds.
But the report also said compensation would be "due from present owners on the basis of the benefits they have received (from the land) to those (blacks) who were dispossessed."
The 20-page report was based on discussions last month of the ANC's Land Commission Workshop.
Whites make up about 16 percent of the population of South Africa but own 87 percent of the land. The imbalance in land ownership is becoming a major issue as the government and black opposition groups move closer to negotiations on a new constitution to give blacks a share of power.
President F.W. de Klerk has promised to end apartheid and repeal decades-old land laws that forced millions of blacks into designated townships and rural tribal homelands. Blacks are able to own property in the townships and homelands.
White landowners, and farmers in particular, have expressed fears that they could lose their property under a black government.
According to the ANC report, workshop delegates envisioned a system of "one person, one farm" in a future South Africa and agreed that the state should play the principal role in redistribution of land.
A land commission is needed to oversee land claims, and an affirmative action program is needed to help blacks once they have acquired property, the report said.