05/03/2017 14:02 GMT | Updated 05/03/2017 14:24 GMT

Speed Up Land Reform, Urges ANC NEC Member

'Access to and ownership of land... is the fundamental basis of social and economic justice.'

Gallo Images / Sowetan / Tiro Ramatlhatse

Laws need changing to speed up land reform, said African National Congress (ANC) national executive committee (NEC) member Mathole Motshekga.

"There is an urgent need to review section 25 of the Constitution and related legislation, to speed up land redistribution and restitution," said Motshekga, writing in the Sunday Independent.

The land issue became a central debate again in the past week.

Last week the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) brought and lost a motion in Parliament to amend section 25, aimed at speeding up land reform. Afterwards President Jacob Zuma said land restitution would be undertaken without compensation to owners, although this is not in the Budget. ANC chief whip in Parliament Jackson Mthembu criticised his party on Friday for the slow pace of reform, saying the Constitution wasn't to blame: "We failed , finish en klaar," he tweeted.

"The naked truth is that there can be no justice without access to to social and economic rights. Access to and ownership of land and its natural resources is the fundamental basis of social and economic justice," said Motshekga.

"The ANC's radical socio-economic transformation also depends on access to and ownership of the land."

Motshekga acknowledged that the ANC had not lived up to its promise to have transferred 30 percent of the 82 million hectares of agricultural land to black people by now. "The government has not achieved this, and the land restitution process continues slowly."

He said the land issue required collective action by all political parties.