'Land Summit about addressing land taken hundreds of years ago'

The Land Summit is a workshop for the ruling party to discuss the expropriation of land without compensation as it relates to the Constitution of the country.

President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers the keynote address at the launch of the #ThumaMina campaign in Tembisa. Picture: @MYANC/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa says the African National Congress (ANC)'s Land Summit is about addressing land which was taken away from South Africa’s forebears hundreds of years ago.

The president gave the opening address at the summit in Boksburg where ANC delegates are in attendance, including former president Kgalema Motlanthe.

The Land Summit is a workshop for the ruling party to discuss the expropriation of land without compensation as it relates to the Constitution of the country.

Ramaphosa says it’s at this workshop that delegates should heed the voices of the ancestors.

“Most effectively to advance land reform, promote agricultural production, reduce poverty, create employment and enhance food security; this required critical applied appraisal of our land reform programme to date.”

The president says the topic of land has ignited a vibrant and exciting debate within society.

“As we have said before, this debate presents an opportunity for a new reinvigorated drive for meaningful and sustainable land reform. It is also an opportunity to assert the transformational intent of our Constitution.”

CONSEQUENCES OF A LACK OF LAND REFORM

Ramaphosa says the consequences of a lack of land reform is that the South African economy has been stunted, and its development held back for centuries.

The president says this is because the country has never effectively been used to its fullest potential.

The main aim of the workshop is to discuss the ruling party’s 54th conference resolution of land expropriation without compensation.

Ramaphosa says by addressing the land question, the country can undo a grave historical injustice.

“There’s also a strong political impurity, which is rooted in the formation of the ANC and extends through a successive electoral mandate which most recently finds expression in the resolutions of the 54th National Conference.”

The president reflected on his visit to the East Rand during the launch of the Thuma Mina campaign.

“From now onwards, every Friday is going to be a Title Deed Friday for the government, led by the ANC, in Gauteng. The premier also announced that they are now going to unlock large pockets of land that are not utilised.”

The workshop will continue on Saturday and Sunday.

WATCH: ANC's Land Summit