Ramaphosa: SA will not expropriate foreign investments

The ANC is very clear in its position on land expropriation, which is no threat to foreign investments, President Cyril Ramaphosa said in answer to a question in Parliament on Thursday.

"There is no question about it. What I told investors at the World Economic Forum is absolutely correct," he said.

"At the same time, we cannot tell foreign investors that they must come and invest here in SA to help us grow the economy and then we say we will expropriate their investment."

Ramaphosa drew widespread controversy when he recently activated a Zuma-era law, namely the Protection of Investment Act, which states that investors have the right to property in terms of Section 25 of the Constitution. It is the amendment of Section 25 that will allow for the expropriation of property without compensation.

'We will follow the law'

Ramaphosa said what he told potential foreign investors was that there has been land stolen from the people of South Africa.

"There is a land hunger out there. The message we sent at WEF was clear and the people we spoke to there understand fully what our intent as the ANC is about the historical injustice and they also want to see that justice is promoted," said Ramaphosa.

"The process we are working on is through the Constitutional amendment and a bill. We are going to do everything within the rule of law and within our Constitution and all that will follow its own time."

Investors want fixes

Ramaphosa added that potential investors had a list of things they would like to see "put right" in SA, like the mining regulatory framework and spectrum issues.

"We are looking at those issues. We believe SA still offers great investment opportunities," said Ramaphosa.

"SA is the gateway to Africa. Africa has adopted a free trade agreement. SA is still the most well-endowed country in Africa in terms of infrastructure and attracted the most foreign direct investment on the continent last year."

According to Ramaphosa, SA was "the flavour of the week" during the WEF in Davos earlier this year.

"We interfaced with a number of companies and I think Team SA did very well. We sent a clear message at Davos: That SA is on a path of growth and renewal," said Ramaphosa.

"We undertook to restore investor confidence in our country. We also spoke about measures we have taken to end state capture and tackle corruption."

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