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'Land issue has been a wound in the hearts of South Africans'

President Cyril Ramaphosa has told investors and world leaders the process around land reform has been consultative and South Africans have come forward wanting to be part of the solution.

President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses the UN General Assembly in New York on 25 September 2018. Picture: @PresidencyZA/Twitter

NEW YORK - President Cyril Rampahosa has told leaders and investors in New York that the land issue has continued to be a wound in the hearts and minds of South Africans and it is now time to heal.

He says the process around land reform has been consultative and South Africans have come forward wanting to be part of the solution.

“The party that I lead felt that we had now reached a point where we needed to address it. It came up with a resolution at the conference that we should now move ahead with the land reform and in doing so, we should do it in a way whereas we expropriate land and make sure that it is available to the majority of the population, we should make sure that it does not harm the economy.”

He says people have been waiting for redress for far too long.

“In 1913, just a year after the African National Congress was formed, the land architecture was changed and delineated in a way where 87% of the land was given to less than just 8% of the population and 13% to the rest of the population.”

The president has also given an assurance that expropriation of land without compensation will be done in a responsible manner that harms neither the economy nor food security.

Ramaphosa is spending the day meeting with and speaking to investors in New York to drum up confidence in South Africa.

The president is in the city for the annual United Nations General Assembly and has been meeting with various state leaders and CEOs while on the trip.

Rampahosa has told investors that wonderful suggestions are coming to the fore from landowners who want to be part of the land reform solution.

He addressed CEOs under the banner of “Invest in South Africa”.

The president will also meet with CEOs later on Wednesday, continuing to share with them his vision for South Africa’s economic future and determination to forge a new growth path driven by his newly announced ambitious investment drive to generate at least $100 billion in new investment over the next five years.

Ramaphosa also met with former US President Bill Clinton earlier on Wednesday.

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)

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