Ramaphosa wants ‘urgency’ on land issue
PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa has invited South Africans to join the party and find solutions for the land issue instead of being scared.
On land redistribution, he said South Africa should not restrict itself to agricultural land but it should also take steps to address property rights of the people.
He said land reform could help transform South Africa and heal the wounds of the past.
“This is a time for everyone to stop pontificating and come with solutions. We should not reduce the enormous task of land reform to a debate of expropriation without compensation,” Ramaphosa said.
He said the property clause in the Bill of Rights was a mandate for radical transformation.
“When it was conceptualised, it was conceptualised with a view to saying we need to change the property relations in our country,” he said while answering questions for the first time in the National Assembly as the President of the Republic.
“This is an opportunity to accept the transformational intent of our constitution. Our Constitution is a transformational document.”
Expropriating land without compensation was one of the mechanisms that the government would use to affect land reform and redistribution, he said.
He said that this year South Africa must work with urgency on the process of land reform and if the country did not do so, then the problem would implode.
“This is the historic task we have which is to address this question once and for all,” Ramaphosa said.
The DA and Freedom Front Plus did not share Ramaphosa’s views, while Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota took the president to task for talking about Indians, coloureds and whites.
Ramaphosa assured Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Groenewald that the government would not allow the police to stand aside in the face of land invasions.