Ramaphosa: Economic freedom means land must be returned

Land reform is essential for economic freedom to be realised, President Cyril Ramaphosa said when he delivered his Freedom Day address at the Dr Rantlai Petrus Molemela Stadium in Bloemfontein on Friday.

During his address he stressed the importance of intensifying radical economic transformation and the need for land reform. “Economic freedom means that the land that was taken from black South Africans needs to be returned,” he said.

“We are committed to accelerate the redistribution of land, both in urban and rural areas, to ensure that poor South Africans are able to own land and have the means to work it.”

Parliament adopted the motion for land expropriation without compensation in February. Earlier this month a committee of Parliament investigating whether sections of the Constitution must be amended to facilitate expropriation of land without compensation called for public submissions by May 31. 

Ramaphosa has reiterated multiple times that land reform will not be implemented in a way that threatens food security or agricultural production.

“Among the measures we will use to accelerate redistribution is that of expropriation without compensation where it is necessary and justified,” he said.

He called on South Africans to be part of a process of consultation to ensure that land redistribution is implemented in a way that is “meaningful” and “contributes to a stronger economy, greater agricultural production and improved food security”.

He called land reform a means to extend property rights to all South Africans.

Ramaphosa recently appointed four investment envoys to meet with global investors ahead of an investment summit scheduled for August or September. He hopes the summit will kick start a plan to raise R1.2trn in new investments over the next five years.

Critics have raised concerns that expropriation without compensation would make achieving this ambitious figure difficult.  

The South African Institute of Race Relations earlier this month arguing that land expropriation would stir investor fears around the security of investments and property rights.

ZAR/USD
17.01
(+0.05)
ZAR/GBP
21.26
(-0.08)
ZAR/EUR
19.17
(+0.02)
ZAR/AUD
11.79
(-0.06)
ZAR/JPY
0.16
(+0.18)
Gold
1765.70
(-0.11)
Silver
17.89
(-0.55)
Platinum
821.81
(+0.41)
Brent Crude
42.09
(+1.84)
Palladium
1897.00
(+0.03)
All Share
53787.72
(-1.06)
Top 40
49570.88
(-1.20)
Financial 15
10002.37
(-0.31)
Industrial 25
75233.15
(-0.33)
Resource 10
49979.54
(-2.56)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo
Company Snapshot
Voting Booth
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
I'm not really directly affected
18% - 1512 votes
I am taking a hit, but should be able to recover in the next year
23% - 1972 votes
My finances have been devastated
34% - 2947 votes
It's still too early to know what the full effect will be
25% - 2133 votes
Vote