The ANC has targeted 139 selected farms that they plan to expropriate without compensation in the coming weeks as it moves to make good on its commitment to test out section 25 of the Constitution.

The governing party emerged from a two-day lekgotla of its highest decision-making body, the national executive committee (NEC), with the resolve to make an amendment to the constitution which will explicitly allow for the conditional expropriation of land without compensation.

City Press has learnt that the NEC has given the green light to its deployees in government, specifically the department of rural development and land affairs, to forge ahead with the process at the Land Claims Court, in which the state will for the first time refuse to pay market value for identified land portions in various parts of the country.

The controversial land debate has also formed the backdrop to a subtle tug-of-war between two dominant lines of thought in the ANC.

Those aligned to President Cyril Ramaphosa are opposed to the strong lobby for “blanket nationalisation”, instead preferring a measured approach that sets out the necessary conditions for expropriation.