Cyril: ‘SA-made solution’ on land re­dis­tri­bu­tion to be found

The Citizen (Gauteng) - - NEWS -

Jon­isayi Maromo

Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa yes­ter­day held a sum­mit with diplo­mats ac­cred­ited to Pre­to­ria, where he ex­plained the on­go­ing emo­tional de­lib­er­a­tions around land re­dis­tri­bu­tion.

“South Africa has em­barked on the re­dis­tri­bu­tion of land process which has at­tracted a lot of at­ten­tion in our coun­try and be­yond,” Ramaphosa told a packed au­di­to­rium of the Depart­ment of In­ter­na­tional Re­la­tions and Co­op­er­a­tion.

“The re­form process will be un­der­taken in an or­derly man­ner that ad­vances eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment, in­creases agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tion and food se­cu­rity, and pro­vides well-lo­cated hous­ing for the poor.

“Par­lia­ment is cur­rently en­gaged in a process of con­sid­er­ing whether sec­tion 25 of the con­sti­tu­tion needs to be amended to al­low for ex­pro­pri­a­tion of land with­out com­pen­sa­tion.

“This is one of a se­ries of mea­sures that we are un­der­tak­ing to ac­cel­er­ate land re­form to cor­rect a his­tor­i­cal in­jus­tice and un­lock the eco­nomic po­ten­tial of this valu­able re­source.”

Liken­ing this con­sul­ta­tion pro­cesses to the 1994 con­sti­tu­tion-draft­ing process, the pres­i­dent said the fi­nal piece of leg­is­la­tion on land re­dis­tri­bu­tion will be rep­re­sen­ta­tive.

“As South Africa gets to grips with this his­tor­i­cal in­jus­tice that was com­mit­ted dur­ing the years of colo­nial­ism and apartheid mis­rule, we will seek to en­sure that, as we did in 1994 when we crafted our con­sti­tu­tion, we will take into ac­count the in­ter­ests of all the peo­ple of our beloved land,” he said.

“This process is aimed at ad­vanc­ing eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment in our coun­try. It is specif­i­cally aimed at, when it comes to agri­cul­tural land, in­creas­ing agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tion, en­sur­ing that there is food se­cu­rity in our coun­try but on an over­all ba­sis, we want to use this as a process that is go­ing to en­hance the growth of our econ­omy.”

Ramaphosa said just like in the con­sti­tu­tion-mak­ing process, South Africans have added their in­put in to the de­bates and pro­cesses. “When we drafted our con­sti­tu­tion, we had well over 1. 2 mil­lion in­puts from South Africans who fever­ishly par­tic­i­pated in the draft­ing of their birth cer­tifi­cate, their con­sti­tu­tion.

“This time around, we’ve had al­most 700 000 sub­mis­sions from peo­ple par­tic­i­pat­ing from the length and breadth of the coun­try. This, in many ways, rep­re­sents the South African DNA – a DNA that says when­ever there are im­por­tant is­sues that af­fects the life of the na­tion, South Africa will go talk­ing.”

He added: “On this is­sue [of land] as well, I am con­vinced that that is pre­cisely what is go­ing to hap­pen.

“We will be able to build our own con­sen­sus, as a na­tion, as we did in 1994 un­der the able lead­er­ship of none other than [pres­i­dent] Nel­son Man­dela. We will find a solution to this, as we did when we ad­dressed what the world thought was an in­tractable prob­lem in terms of ad­dress­ing the apartheid night­mare.”

Ramaphosa as­sured the diplo­mats that “a solution will be found soon, and it will be a South African-made solution”.

He said one of the key prob­lems be­dev­illing South Africa at the mo­ment is low eco­nomic growth and ris­ing prices. “Gov­ern­ment is ad­dress­ing this chal­lenge, to­gether with our so­cial part­ners – business, labour, com­mu­ni­ties.” – ANA

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