Ramaphosa promises to consult traditional leaders on land issue

President Cyril Ramaphosa conceded that the ANC government has in the past failed to consult traditional leaders on critical issues.

Dignitaries and guests attending the debate in the National House of Traditional Leaders in Parliament. Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN - President Cyril Ramaphosa has promised not to sideline traditional leaders.

Ramaphosa was addressing the National House of Traditional Leaders at Parliament on Thursday.

He conceded that the African National Congress (ANC) government has in the past failed to consult them on critical issues and said that legislation must be amended to give effect to the party’s policy on land expropriation without compensation.

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.

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

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.

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 the ANC amendments to the Economic Freedom Fighters’ motion were agreed to, including that expropriation improve food security.