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Zuma: Govt land policies not an attack on whites

President Jacob Zuma acknowledged criticism that government had not met its land restitution targets.

FILE: President Jacob Zuma. Picture: Supplied

CAPE TOWN – President Jacob Zuma says government's land restitution and affirmative action policies should in no way be interpreted as an attack on white people.

Responding to the debate on his State of the Nation Address in Parliament on Thursday afternoon, Zuma said land restitution would be carried out in accordance with the law.

He also said affirmative action did not demonstrate hatred of white people but was necessary to heal the divisions of the past.

President Jacob Zuma acknowledged criticism that government had not met its land restitution targets.

But he said this was because the willing-buyer, willing seller policy was frustrating the process and costing the government millions of rand to buy back the land.

Zuma said government would act within the law to transfer land to the majority.

“We are describing the situation as it were with an aim to find a solution for the country. We are not going to stop by saying ‘you hate the whites’ – it's not true.”

Zuma said white people were his comrades in the struggle and that the African National Congress government was not racist.

On Tuesday, during the Sona debate in Parliament, Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti says government needs to start expropriating land without compensation if it’s to speed up socio-economic reform.

Nkwinti also said the willing-buyer, willing-seller principle was not having the desired effect.

(Edited by Masechaba Sefularo)