It is highly immoral of the African National Congress and the Economic Freedom Fighters to cultivate hope with desperate South Africans that they will one day own land, the Democratic Alliance said on Sunday.

The party alleges changing the Constitution will not lead to ordinary people being given land, but it will take it from them instead.

“It is deeply disturbing that the ANC and EFF use the land hearings that are currently taking place across the country to continue to lie to South Africans about owning land,” DA spokesperson Thandeka Mbabama said.

The DA would continue to attend these hearings and remind the people that the ANC and the EFF’s promises about land ownership “are blatant lies”.

“The truth is simple: The ANC and EFF believe that the state should be the sole owner of land and the people must be tenants on state land.

This means that South Africans – the very people who attend the land hearings in the desperate hope that they will soon become owners of land – will have no security of tenure. They will be tenants, serving the ANC and its corrupt network,” Mbabama said.

“It is highly immoral of the ANC and EFF to cultivate hope with desperate South Africans that they will one day own land.

How many of the thousands of people that we have seen attending these hearings over the last weeks truly understand that the ANC and EFF’s proposal to change the Constitution to allow the government to expropriate land without compensation will have the exact opposite outcome?”

The people suffered from a history of being denied land ownership. Millions of South Africans desperately yearned for the dignity that owning land and having a proper roof over their heads would provide.

Yet, the ANC and EFF openly continued to peddle their cruel and cynical lie that this would be made possible through amending the Constitution, Mbabama said.

The DA believed it was not the Constitution that failed the people. It was the ANC. This was confirmed by the panel chaired by former president Kgalema Motlanthe that found there was evidence that “a degree of elite capture has taken place in land reform in general” and that the implementation of restitution under the ANC had been extremely poor.

“Our message to South African attending these hearings will continue to be that, had the DA’s plan for land reform been instituted only a decade ago, hundreds of thousands of South Africans would have been the proud owners of land by now.

We will tell them that the DA will prioritise land reform in the budget and cut back on unnecessary spending, where the ANC government is spending more on VIP protections than it does on land reform.

“We will remind them that under a DA government communal land will be given to those living on it and title deeds will be given to urban housing beneficiaries. Voluntary incentivised partnerships will enable farm workers to own shares in the farms they work on,” Mbabama said.