Ramaphosa: We're going ahead with land expropriation without compensation

Cape Town - SA’s new president said that his administration would be continuing with a policy of land expropriation of land without compensation.

The decision to expropriate land without compensation was taken by the ANC at its 54th Congress, where Cyril Ramaphosa was elected ANC President. 

“We will accelerate our land redistribution programme not only to redress a grave historical injustice, but also to bring more producers into the agricultural sector and to make more land available for cultivation,” Ramaphosa said during his maiden State of the Nation Address in Parliament on Friday evening.  

“We will pursue a comprehensive approach that makes effective use of all the mechanisms at our disposal.

“Guided by the resolutions of the 54th National Conference of the governing party, this approach will include the expropriation of land without compensation,” he said. 

The president said that the policy, which has been criticised by farming industry bodies, should be implemented in a way that “increases agricultural production, improves food security”. He said the policy would work to ensure that the land is “returned to those from whom it was taken under colonialism and apartheid”.

Ramaphosa said the state would undertake a process of consultation around the issue of expropriation, but did not provide further details about how or when this would take place. 

He also called on financial institutions to help mobilise resources to “accelerate the land redistribution programme” saying that “increased investment will be needed in this sector”.

AgriSA previously argued that should Section 25 of the Constitution be amended to allow for land expropriation without compensation, financial markets would divest from the country and investor confidence in SA would be shattered.

“We challenge the ANC to explain to South Africans how the proposed amendment of the Constitution would enhance production or successful development of new farmers,” said the organisation in the wake of the ANC conference in December. 

"Agriculture has the largest growth potential of any sector in the economy and we should work together to explore and capitalise on this opportunity,” the organisation said.

The DA, meanwhile, argued after the ANC conference that the state should look to why most land reform projects in its care had failed, root out “massive corruption and mismanagement” and provide the poor with title deeds, instead of trying to amend the constitution. 

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