President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Wednesday that the government would not ask foreign investors to put money into South Africa and then “tomorrow take your land away”, saying this was “not something that any sensible person does”.
The president was speaking about land reform, Eskom and the economy at an investor conference in Johannesburg hosted by the Goldman Sachs Group.
He drew a direct line between the formation of the ANC in 1912 and the party’s current land reform platform, saying land had remained “at the core” of the party’s message over the past 107 years. “[The ANC] was for not formed for getting votes, human rights and all that, it was formed for getting the land.”
“One of the issues that almost derailed the dawn of democracy in our country was the land issue. It never died, it remained bubbling right at the bottom.”
Ramaphosa, as he has repeatedly stated in the past, again said that land reform and expropriation without compensation would take place in an orderly manner, with no land grabs.
Foreign investors have “nothing to fear”, he said, and the government would not take land after asking them to invest in South Africa. He did not elaborate any further.
Ramaphosa said a reworked Expropriation Bill, which still has to go before the National Assembly, would lay out which kinds of land would be included in the expropriation process.
He said the government would be focusing, in part, on tracts of land owned by the state, particularly in urban areas where people need land to build homes.
As he has said in the past, the president said the ANC had resolved that land reform would not have a negative impact on the economy or lead to food insecurity or lower agricultural production. “We are going to insist that everything is done in terms of our Constitution.”