Ramaphosa: No reason to impose sanctions on SA over land reform

President Ramaphosa says most South Africans back an orderly process of land reform.

President Cyril Ramaphosa replying to questions in the National Council of Provinces on 11 September 2018. Picture: @PresidencyZA/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - President Cyril Ramaphosa says there’s no reason to think any country would impose sanctions on South Africa over its approach to land reform.

Ramaphosa told the National Council of Provinces that foreign leaders are increasingly understanding of the need for the land question to be resolved and that diplomatic efforts are underway to get the message across to those who disagree.

South Africa last month told the United States it was engaged in a consultative process on land reform after US President Donald Trump tweeted a misinformed claim that white-owned farms were being seized.

Ramaphosa says that most South Africans back an orderly process of land reform.

“[The] majority of South Africans are peace-loving, who want to see law and order, who want to see justice as well. With that, we will be able to rely on the majority of people in the country, as well as our various structures of government and our agencies, to defend the right decisions that will be taken [and] defend the Constitution of our country.”

Ramaphosa has reiterated that land grabs won’t be tolerated.

“So those who would want to take measures that would lead to self-help, to land grabs are going to be in serious trouble because it will not be allowed by the majority of our people.”

Ramaphosa says there’s broad support globally for a process guided by the Constitution and the rule of law so that the property rights of all citizens are advanced and the economy is not weakened in the process.

Meanwhile, during an interview with AFP, EFF leader Julius Malema vowed his supporters would increasingly seize unoccupied land to put pressure on the government to redistribute land to black people.

Malema also criticised Ramaphosa's approach on land reform.

"Cyril says this today and says something else tomorrow, depending on where he is speaking," Malema said, describing Ramaphosa's new land redistribution policy as "fake".

However, he added that discussions were already underway among farmers.

"There won't be violence. I think (white farmers) want to give up land as both black and white are talking to each other about how we can resolve the land issue.

"We are going to share the land, but it must first be owned by the state and reallocated back to all of us -- black and white."

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)