MPs argue over land reform

Minister Gugile Nkwinti said it’s "an honour" to have SA's land reform process compared to Zimbabwe’s.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - Tempers flared in Parliament on Friday after Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti told Members of Parliaments (MP) it's "an honour" to have South Africa's land reform process compared to Zimbabwe's.

He made the comments during his budget speech in the National Assembly in Cape Town.

The minister said President Robert Mugabe is reversing what the British did to the people of Zimbabwe.

Nkwinti was responding to remarks made earlier by the Freedom Front Plus MP Pieter Groenewald.

He warned the minister he was creating a typical Zimbabwe situation by blaming whites and apartheid for the land issue just before an election.

Nkwinti replied by saying it's an honour to be compared to Mugabe.

The minister also revealed his department will be investing in recapitalising more farms and hit back at critics who've complained about slow progress.

"There's a tendency among casual observers to express impatience at the process of rural development and land reform. Be patient, 360 years of injustice cannot be made right in 19 years of democracy."

But the Democratic Alliance's Athol Trollip said the department's recapitalisation programme has become a cash cow for corrupt officials.

"In this regard, we must hold up a mirror to this department and consider this backdrop at the minister's admission that 90 percent of the department's land reform has failed."