Ramaphosa: We're still living with the 'devastating' impact of Natives Land Act

2019-06-20 20:14
President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers his 2019 State of the Nation Address in Parliament on June 20 2019.

President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers his 2019 State of the Nation Address in Parliament on June 20 2019. (Twitter/@PresidencyZA)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

President Cyril Ramaphosa, whose administration will most likely be defined by how his government deals with the land question, opened his second State of the Nation Address of 2019 by looking back 106 years to the day the Natives Land Act was enacted, noting that the "effect of that law are still present with us".

The act, which came into law in 1913, effectively barred black South Africans from owning or renting land in almost all parts of the country.

South African History Online notes that the act "laid down the foundation for other legislation which further entrenched dispossession of African people and segregation later of Coloured and Indian people".

The land question and the subsequent debate over expropriation without compensation has gripped the nation, and has drawn comments from politicians, economists, business, lobby groups and ordinary South Africans.

In opening his address, Ramaphosa described the legislation as "one of the most devastating acts of dispossession, pain and humiliation".

The president quoted the comments of Sol Plaatje, a founding member of the South African National Native Congress: "Awakening on Friday morning, June 20, 1913, the South African native found himself, not actually a slave, but a pariah in the land of his birth."

READ: FULL TEXT - 'We are committed to building an ethical state,' says President Cyril Ramaphosa in 2019 SONA speech

Ramaphosa added that, over "a century after that grave injustice, we are called upon to forge a South Africa where no person will be slave or pariah, only free and equal and respected".

In February, Ramaphosa told foreign investors at a conference that they had "nothing to fear", saying government wouldn't take away their land, after asking them to plough their money into the country, Fin24 reported.

The president has handed the tough task of leading government's research, communication and implementation of land policy to Thoko Didiza.

Didiza was appointed minister of agriculture, land reform and rural development when Ramaphosa announced his cabinet last month.

She had previously served as agriculture and land affairs minister under Thabo Mbeki between 1999 and 2006.

READ: Land reform and agriculture: What to expect in the next 5 years

Earlier this month, Ramaphosa received a report from the Presidential Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture, which he appointed in September last year.

On Thursday evening, he said the report would now be presented to Cabinet for consideration.

"The panel’s recommendations will inform the finalisation of a comprehensive, far-reaching and transformative land reform programme," said the president.

He also said government would "accelerate efforts to identify and release public land that is suitable for smart, urban settlements and for farming".

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

Read more on:    cyril ramaphosa  |  land expropiation  |  sona 2019
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.