President Cyril Ramaphosa said that – contrary to what the Democratic Alliance would have you believe – the notion of land expropriation without compensation had been embraced by large sections of South Africa’s farming community.
Ramaphosa, speaking in the National Assembly on Wednesday, said he had already had engagements with several industry stakeholders who said they were prepared to work with government and help achieve some of its land reform objectives.
The President said the fear and panic, which had been fuelled by opposition campaigns, simply could not be justified.
He put it to Members of Parliament, that opponents of government’s land reform plans probably weren’t clear on what it was that government was actually trying to do.
He took a direct swipe at Leader of the Opposition, Mmusi Maimane.
“Honourable Maimane, I have been having a number of discussions with a number of people. Some of them, who are property owners,” said Ramaphosa on Wednesday.
“Who have said ‘Mr President, we think that land is a huge problem in our country and we are prepared to join you in resolving this problem.’
“A number of farmers have said yes, what this calls for is that we should give access to South Africans who do not own land. South Africans who want to work the land but find that they do not have the land,” added Ramaphosa.
“A couple of them have come forward to say ‘I have inherited a lot of land and I have found that quite a lot of it lies fallow. I do not use it. What we want to do, is to find ways through which we will be able to assist you, as government to give access to people who do not have the land, so that they can work it.'”
“I have found this to be really welcome, so welcomed that it begins to depart from the noise that one is hearing on the left. Because these are people who are not listening. We have got a lot of South Africans who are listening and saying we need to listen to the heartbeat of South Africans.”