'Let us share the land' - Mabuza on land reform

2018-11-22 22:44
Deputy President David Mabuza.

Deputy President David Mabuza. (Foto: Daily Sun)

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"Let us share the land," Deputy President David Mabuza said as he struck a reconciliatory tone on the divisive land issue in the National Assembly on Thursday.

Answering MPs' questions, Mabuza made it clear that the injustice of historic dispossession of land must be addressed, but without negating nation building and social cohesion.

Throughout his answers, he shied away from using racial terms.

He also reiterated President Cyril Ramaphosa's frequent assurances that land grabs would not be allowed and said the government would release state-owned land for land reform.

"There should be no fears that we are going to collapse the production capacity of our country," Mabuza said. 

He added that there would be "coordinated support" for farmers and "all the necessary production inputs will be provided to farmers".

EFF MP Reneilwe Mashabela said land reform was not merely about boosting production.

"It is about recognising that white people have what they have today because of the killing and dispossession of our people," she said.

Mabuza responded: "This land reform process has, at the centre of it, to address the past imbalances."

He said the past imbalances were acknowledged and added that South Africa's diversity should be recognised, the tenets of the Constitution should be respected and reconciliation should not be disrupted.

Land reform is about black farms, not braai spots - Mabuza

Deputy president David Mabuza told the National Assembly in Parliament on Thursday afternoon that the committee on land reform, which he chairs, was fundamentally opposed to land reform that would leave farms derelict and unproductive. Mabuza was replying orally to questions in the National Assembly.

The deputy president added that there were "some organisations" spreading the false narrative that the government was "targeting its own white farmers". 

But he said the government would ensure that the process was handled with "utmost care and sensitivity". 

"Our government has said that as we embark on this process of accelerated land reform through expropriation without compensation, it must be conducted in a responsible manner without negatively affecting economic growth, investments and agricultural production," he said.

"We're not going to disrupt the current situation. Instead, we are going to protect production," he said.

"Those who are holding land should be kind to realise that there were people who were dispossessed, therefore, if we really mean reconciliation, then we should address this."

He also warned that the mechanism used mustn't take the country back, but said it could not be ignored that "certain people" were dispossessed. 

"We must recognise that they were wronged."

Like Ramaphosa, he also expressed little appetite for the nationalisation of land. 

"The land must not come to the government. The land must go to the people," he said.

Mabuza was also questioned about the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture with DA chief whip John Steenhuisen saying it was "untenable" for Ramaphosa to maintain that he didn't know the extent of state capture. 

"I think the honourable member has a view. The view that this has happened and that that has happened and that certain individuals must appear before the commission," Mabuza said.

"If you want the commission to succeed, let's support it, let's not interfere."

Steenhuisen, in an interjection, asked if Mabuza would also appear before the commission.

"No, I've got no issue myself that I want to present."

But he assured that, if such an issue arose, he would go to the commission.

He was also asked about Bosasa's donation to Ramaphosa's election campaign to become president of the ANC.

"The matter relating to Bosasa and the president, I think the president has answered," he said.

"He lied!" some DA MPs chirped.

"As far as I'm concerned, the president has answered."

"As members of this House, it is incumbent on all of us to uphold good moral values. This you know as you enter this House," he said, answering a more general question from IFP chief whip Narend Singh.

"Of course, we're human, we err."

"Definitely, we must continue to frown at bad values, we must frown at corruption."

"We can't sacrifice the whole nation for one individual, the wrongdoing of one individual," he said. 

EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said: "I want to check if you received any funding for your campaign for deputy president of the ANC."

But Speaker Baleka Mbete said: "This House does not normally deal with party political issues."

Mabuza said it was a new question and not relevant.

"This time I regard it as a new question. It involves the ANC. I'm not the treasurer or spokesperson of the ANC," said Mabuza, the ANC's deputy president.

Although he wasn't questioned about it, Mabuza's trip to Russia, apparently for health reasons, was mentioned. 

READ: 'I'm back, and I'm good' – Mabuza speaks after return from sick leave in Russia

"Nazdarovya!" DA MPs greeted him as he got to the podium with the Russian toast loosely translated as "to your health".

Before asking his first supplementary question, Steenhuisen quipped: "It's great to see your trip to Dr Zhivago worked so well."

Ndlozi said he genuinely, unlike some other people, wished Mabuza a great recovery.

"Honourable Ndlozi, thank you very much for wishing me well. You're the only one from this side," he said as he pointed to the opposition benches.

"Ag shame!" some DA MPs quipped.

Read more on:    david mabuza  |  cape town  |  land

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