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‘SA can learn how to overcome economic woes from other countries’

The first question to Cyril Ramaphosa was posed by MP Lusizo Makhubela-Mashele who asked what the country’s plan for economic recovery is.

FILE: President Cyril Ramaphosa replies to the debate on the State of the Nation Address in Parliament. Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN - President Cyril Ramaphosa says South Africans can learn from other countries on how to overcome economic challenges.

Ramaphosa is responding to questions from Members of Parliament (MPs) in his first question and answer session as president on Wednesday afternoon.

The questions range from government's policy on land expropriation to former president Jacob Zuma's legal costs during his tenure.

The first question was posed by African National Congress MP Lusizo Makhubela-Mashele who asked what the country’s plan for economic recovery is.

“We can take a leaf from how a number of other economies around the world have had to address their own economic woes. Countries such as Ireland, Netherlands, South Korea and Sweden have in the past successfully forged what one can call social compacts to drive economic growth.”

He's told MPs the rand has improved, there's been growth in GDP and investor confidence has improved significantly.

Ramaphosa says it’s critical that government mobilises all social partners to unite behind a common programme of recovery and transformation.

LAND EXPROPRIATION

The president says all South Africans need to get onboard with expropriation of land without compensation.

“I invite all South Africans, rather than being scared, hiding your head in the sand, running away, screaming and saying: ‘there’s a swart gevaar coming – land is going to be taken and title deeds are in danger.’ I say come to the party, let us discuss this matter and find solutions. This is the time for everyone to stop pontificating and come forward with solutions.”

At the same time, DA leader Mmusi Maimane says South Africans should be encouraged to purchase property and land in their own rights and that expropriation is not a way to go in a democracy.

“How do you reconcile your new-found view with this view that you can either have expropriation without compensation or, in fact, a growing economy that empowers citizens to own property in their rights?”

ILLEGAL LAND GRABS

Ramaphosa says South Africa will not allow illegal land grabs.

He says the country cannot allow a situation of anarchy when there are proper constitutional means through to address land reform.

Ramaphosa says government should be in a position to provide land to the poor, in both rural and urban areas, and also increase agricultural production.

“The re-run of land to these who work it is fundamental; to the transformation of our society and it is critical if we are to improve the lives of poor people in our country.”

The president says there is a serious concern for land and other South Africans should be prepared to share.

WATCH: President Ramaphosa answers questions in Parliament

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