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Ramaphosa: No need to panic because of land expropriation

Ramaphosa has raised concerns over reports that certain South African organisations are approaching international investors warning them about South Africa and its new land policy.

President Cyril Ramaphosa in the National House of Traditional Leaders on Thursday 1 March 2018. Picture: Twitter/@GovernmentZA

CAPE TOWN - President Cyril Ramaphosa is urging people not to panic about land expropriation without compensation.

Ramaphosa addressed the National House of Traditional Leaders on Thursday.

He says it's critical for South Africans to engage and come up with proposals on the matter going forward.

Ramaphosa says the burning issue of land reform must be handled with care.

He has raised concerns over reports that certain South African organisations are approaching international investors, warning them about South Africa and its new land policy.

“There’s no need for anyone of us to panic and to start beating war drums. Farming activities must continue as normal and investment in land and farming must continue.”

Ramaphosa says the government will handle the matter carefully through dialogue and discussion and that investment in land and farming can continue.

But he's told traditional leaders that legislation must be amended to give effect to the African National Congress' policy on land expropriation without compensation.

At the same time, traditional leaders have added their voice to calls for land expropriation without compensation, saying they want this to happen without further delay.

Ramaphosa has told traditional leaders the land issue should be resolved as soon as possible.

He says traditional leaders should be at the forefront of land transformation in their areas.

Nkosikazi Nosandi Mhlauli of the Amahlubi in the Eastern Cape said: “The land must be returned to their owners without delay.”

Chief Malesela Dikgale from Limpopo also shared her views.

“Some asked if you want the rand to be weaker and the answer is no. We want to get the land because it belongs to the people.”

Their call comes as Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini threatens the government to keep its hands off Ingonyama Trust tribal land as part of the expropriation process.

A motion on the expropriation of land without compensation was adopted by an overwhelming majority in the National Assembly on Tuesday.

The vote went 241 in favour and only 81 against after African National Congress amendments to the Economic Freedom Fighters' motion were agreed to, including that expropriation improve food security.

'I DOUBT THIS KIND OF PANIC IS USEFUL'

This week Parliament passed the Economic Freedom Fighters’ motion to review a section of the Constitution to pave the way for the process.

While various organisations have raised concerns around the lack of clarity and detail on how the ANC plans to implement its policy of land expropriation without compensation, the party’s Jessie Duarte says there is no need to worry.

“'Oh my goodness, I’m going to lose my house’ – I doubt if that is true and I doubt if that kind of panic is very useful.”

She says the policy will be implemented in a rational way.

“Our land use policy is not going to undermine the economy or food production.”

Duarte says the party is currently working on a land use plan.

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