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Clinton warns Ramaphosa on handling land expropriation

Bill Clinton said while he agreed land must be shared amongst South Africans the country’s reputation would be impacted if expropriation was forced.

President Cyril Ramaphosa receives a courtesy call from former President of the United States of America Bill Clinton during the Discovery Leadership Summit. Photo: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG – Former United States President Bill Clinton has warned President Cyril Ramaphosa on government plans to expropriate land without compensation, saying he will get hurt if he does it wrong.

Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary were speaking at the Discovery Leadership Summit in Sandton on Thursday.

The media was given strict instructions not to record the Clintons but permission was given to report on their talk.

Discovery CEO Adrian Gore asked them about the current the debate in the country around land expropriation without compensation, asking if the messaging is reasonable and not scaring people away.

Clinton said while he agreed land must be shared amongst South Africans, the country’s reputation would be impacted if expropriation was forced.

But he also said people would lose faith in the president and government if they don’t get the land and that the president must just make sure he doesn’t do it the wrong way.

Hillary said while she understands the land question is tied up with identity and dignity, a wholesale expropriation would not send a good signal to investors.

STATE OF SA ECONOMY

President Ramaphosa says while he understands people's concerns about the weak economy and the technical recession, they must put their hope in the fact that the country is on a recovery path.

Ramaphosa was frank about the state of the country's economy.

“We’ve been forced by weakened economic conditions but more specifically, two-quarters of negative growth to announce an economic stimulus and recovery plan to ignite economic growth.”

But he says things are changing.

“We’ve emerged from a period of turbulence and are now embarking on a new path of growth and renewal. A new dawn as it were.”

The president says he is inspired by the fact that the so-called investment strike is over and government and business now see eye to eye.

He's called on all South African to make a contribution to move the country forward.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)

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