OVERVIEW: Ramaphosa to Malema: 'The people, not the State, must own their land'

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22 Aug 2018

Questions to the president are officially over. House is adjourned.

Ramaphosa chimes in with one last chirp to say he has a cigar for DA chief whip John Steenhuisen, especially because of his "good behaviour today."

The House laughs, and he hands it over.

Steenhuisen smiles as the banter between the pair continues.

He had given Ramaphosa a cigar back in February after being sworn in. He had also offered a matchbox to help Ramaphosa "pack his credibility" as he moved offices in Tuynhuys.

The pair exchange laughs.

22 Aug 2018

Ramaphosa: "I have nothing to do with any current person in business, with IPPs or other.

"People who are advancing their own businesses, do so on their own. Where I sit, I am a regulator, and I do not want to get involved in [other] business.

"I would never want to advance the interests of relatives in business. If I am involved, I would declare it.

"I would say, 'I know Honourable Malema'.

"If my brother-in-law is involved in business, there should never be a suspicion that me or the energy minister is advancing the interests of business.

"If you have evidence, we must bring it forward.

"We must stop casting aspersions. We must bring evidence forward. We mustn't just go around speaking about things as if we are at stokvel."

Malema gets the last bite: "Honourable president, the previous president said the exact same things as you."

Deputy speaker Tsenoli says Malema must sit down and mustn't break the rules.

He does, the House moves on.

22 Aug 2018

Ramaphosa: "As we are already committed to a mixed type of energy supply, we must ensure that across the board, we stick to that mixed supply of energy, and ensure that people do not lose jobs."

22 Aug 2018

Ramaphosa laughs, "I knew you were going there.

"Truth be told Mr Malema, the costing is blended within the whole mix.

"The power produced by IPP's is put into the grid, and it's blended with the power of our powers stations, like Koeberg, and our coal power stations.

"The pricing is blended in the end, controlled by Nerse [energy regulator].

"As the renewable energy prices come down...

"This surplus of power is transitional. Quite a lot of Eskom's power stations are old, and will be retired."

22 Aug 2018

Ramaphosa now moves on to the last set of questions on the day. It was asked by EFF leader Julius Malema.

Malema wants to know what informed government's decision to rush into the decision to sign the Independent Power Producers deal, allowing IPP's to service the energy mix.

"Are you not going to destory Eskom, when you plug these into the national grid, causing people to lose jobs.

"Do we have other things that we do not know? Is this a cash heist to benefit some of your friends, including your brother-in-law Patrice Motsepe, who is now coming in to this space.

"Be honest, Mr President."

22 Aug 2018

President Cyril Ramaphosa's comments earlier on the 'quite high' unemployment figures.
Read more on Fin24 here...

22 Aug 2018

Funny moment in the House as deputy speaker Tsenoli confuses "Malema" with "Maimane".

EFF MP stands up and says, "Honourable speaker, you can't confuse a giant with a kitty-kat."

Malema can be seen laughing. Maimane smirks too.

John Steenhuisen stands to try and say something, but Tsenoli shuts it all down, asks the MP to withdraw, which she does, and they move on.

22 Aug 2018

Ramaphosa again repeats that the wound that has festered from apartheid and colonialism is not going to away.

"You can make your choice. If you don't want stability, then don't transform. But if you want stability, then you must transform, and we must work together so it leads to development, and gives us stability.

"The land owners must not be afraid to embrace this process.

"You say the land owners want certainty. I can tell you the people who are hungry for land also want certainty.

"This government has to balance both so we have a win-win situation."

He gets a genuine round of applause from the ANC caucus.

22 Aug 2018

FFP leader Pieter Groenewald now asks a follow up question.He says he knows Ramaphosa has a good reputation as a negotiator, and he may have mesmerized Roelf Meyer and some farm owners, but he "has a message from all the other farmers.

"They are not going give up their land willingly," he warns.EFF MP Paulsen is angered, and says, "He just threatened."

Deputy Speaker Tsenoli dismisses him. Ramaphosa answers the question...

22 Aug 2018

Ramaphosa again says that "right now, we are able to expropriate land without compensation. We must make it clear in the Constitution that we can do it. Our people want it to be clear"

"You haven't tested it yet," one DA MP shouts.

Ramaphosa continues: "We have not spoken out of both sides of the mouth. It is a proposal from the ANC. The Parliamentary process will continue. As it reaches fruition, the ANC will put forward this proposal, it will come back here and be debated.

"Fear not honourable Hlengwa, this process will be as transparent as possible."

22 Aug 2018

IFP MP Mkhuleko Hlengwa accuses Ramaphosa of speaking out of both sides of his mouth on the land issue.

He told the Afrikanerbond that the Constitution would not be amended, and then he gave a late-night announcement, a "fixture of the past", that it would, with no plan.

Hlengwa asks how the public can trust the processes.

Ramaphosa again defends his announcement, saying the ANC is perfectly entitled to give its view on the matter.

"The ANC has spoken on this matter. It is what it is, and the ANC has also said it will manage this issue as well as it will be managed.

22 Aug 2018

Ramaphosa slams AfriForum for going overseas to say "the ANC is going out for a land grab.

"There is no such thing," Ramaphosa states.

"We want growth and food security, and if we embrace that problem, we are going to resolve this issue with dignity."

22 Aug 2018

Ramaphosa: "The experience we have is that many people struggle to get loans from the bank, because they say they do not own the land.

"Some of them are coming forward and saying they want to have a sense of ownership.

"My own view is rather than frustrate this deep quest people have of owning the land. We cannot frustrate them by saying this land must be owned by the State. We should allow them to own the land.

"The architecture of land reform must be empowering. It must give them a sense of identifying with the land that is placed in their hands.

"Ordinary people want to have a sense of ownership of a piece of land.

"You and I have a lot to talk about and we can debate this matter, but what is pleasing is there is growing agreement amongst all of us that the expropriation of land is becoming more and more accepted," he tells Malema.

"We now need to move forward. We deal with categorisation of which pieces of land will be given to our people. That's where the debate must now revolve around."

22 Aug 2018

EFF leader Julius Malema now stands up to ask a supplimentary question on land and the room becomes attentive.

He starts by taking a dig at Maimane, who quoted the Constitution.

He said the same Constitution allows for it to be amended.

Malema now gets to his question, says parties are pushing that title deeds be delivered rather so that poor people can, "sell the land back to them".

Malema: "Do you agree that the State must be the owner of the land?

Ramaphosa: "Honourable Malema, you and I agree that the land must be returned.

"[But] one of the things people are saying, that if people receive title deeds, they will remain poor.

"That is a false notion. Our people who receive title deeds, they become so proud because finally they own something they built with their own hands."

DA MPs shouts, "Yes!"

22 Aug 2018

Ramaphosa: "We are going to ensure it [the land] is properly managed.

"This historical injustice must be brought to an end. I'm glad that you join us in ensuring that it does."

22 Aug 2018

Ramaphosa now speaks to meeting he held with AgriSA this week.

"They came to us and said colonialism was hurtful for land dispossession.

"Thoose that wanted to resist are now coming to terms that, we've got to change. And change we will.

"Our people want the wound inflicted on them to be healed. The only way we can do that is to transform.

"Fellow South Africans, that is where we have to go. We should no longer have to be afraid of this process of changing.

"It is here, and it is here to stay. It is going to happen. Thank you very much."

22 Aug 2018

Ramaphosa: "We are having meaningful debates. These debates must be underlined by various factors.

"Firstly, we must transform land ownership and property in our country. There's no doubt about that. We have got to do it. We have to embrace this process underway.

"Secondly, as we embrace it, it must increase agricultural production and growth in our economy.

"Thirdly, we must do it to enhance stability in our country."

"How's that going?" an unknown DA MP shouts.

Ramaphosa ignores, and says, "This matter is beginning to sink in the minds of South Africans."

22 Aug 2018

Ramaphosa: "Many people have said this land debate, without knowing where it would end, has been debilitating.

"We now know, where it will end," he says as defends the ANC's announcement.

"The question of land is not going to go away."

22 Aug 2018

READ: More on the fuel price...

22 Aug 2018

Ramaphosa now moves on to the big question on land.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane asked if the ANC's pronouncement on the issue undermined the Parliamentary hearings into the issue.

Ramaphosa: "The ANC will provide an amendment to the Constitution that will provide clarity on how expropriation without compensation can be effected.

"The amendment is based partly on the views received by South Africans at Parliament's public hearings.

"The Constitution already provides for expropriation without compensation in certain circumstances.

"The proposal is to make explicit what is currently implicit in the Constitution.

"This announcement does not undermine the processes in Parliament currently underway.

"This position will guide the contribution of its members in the Parliamentary process.

"Once Parliament adopts a position, it will become government's responsibility to implement."

22 Aug 2018

Ramaphosa: "The fuel levy is part of the structures of our economy. We are looking at that.

"We are very sensitive to the burden it places on our people. In doing so, the ends have to be measured up.

"If we just reduce the fuel levy, but at the same time, if we lose that revenue, it has an impact and a whole range of other things.

"Truth be told, it is a difficult one. It is not just as easy as snapping a finger, and we come up with an answer.

"It is one of those issues that we continue to look at to seek solutions for. We are in a difficult situation, because we import a commodity [fuel] whose price we have no control of, and we have a tax structure in place. That's as best as we can put it to you."

In other words, the fuel levy is not coming down.

22 Aug 2018

DA leader Mmusi  Maimane now asks question on the fuel levy.

"Do you have a plan to reduce the fuel levy? Because at this point in time, your ministers cannot produce one," Maimane asks.

South Africans spend at least R265 if they fill a tank because of the fuel levy.

22 Aug 2018

IFP chief whip Narend Singh proposes lesser taxes on basic services, such as water, electricity, transport and other utilities.

Ramaphosa replies and says issues like that can come up in the public comment period for new zero-rated VAT items.

"Nonetheless, this is a proposal that has been put forward, and we will see how that works out [during public comments]."

22 Aug 2018

Ramaphosa says the minister of finance is waiting for public comment on the new zero-rated VAT items.

Once he receives inputs, he will come to Cabinet so that they can outline when to implement the decrease in VAT for those selected items.

22 Aug 2018

Ramaphosa now moves on to the fourth question of the day on Value-Added Tax, or VAT.

22 Aug 2018

Ramaphosa says SA does not hide loans, the laws around banking are very stringent.

"We don't do anything secretly. Our loans are transparent so everybody is able to see what is happening.

"What we can assure you is that all the agreements that our government enters into are agreements that are based on...

"Secrecy?" chirps DA chief whip John Steenhuisen.

"...things that will advance the interests of our people," Ramaphosa finishes.

22 Aug 2018

Mmusi Maimane now asks about China, and quotes from a New York Times article on the effects of Chinese loans.

Ministers Lindiwe Zulu, Gwede Mantashe and Nomvula Mokonyane are seen scoffing and waving their hands in dismissal.

"Hayi, New York Times..." Zulu can be heard shouting.

22 Aug 2018

COPE MP Diedre Carter asks Ramaphosa what government is going to do to protect SA from cheap imports and ensure equitable trade.

"This concept of win-win, occupies our thinking most of the time, if not all of the time," Ramaphosa answers.

"In our discussions with China, we look at the trade balance. They have a surplus, we have a deficit, and it's a concern to both of us.

"It's something we want to address.

"We want a win-win type of solution to our trade solution. The one country must not win all the time over and above the other."

22 Aug 2018

Ramaphosa: "We are going to have BRICS games; a variety of games that will be hosted by various BRICS countries, and those who see games as being processes where we can build cohesion and build our nations and interact, we'll see a great deal of benefit in all of this.

"BRICS really is alive. It's not just a talkshop. We work and move on.

"We are proud members of BRICS because we see a great deal of benefit."

22 Aug 2018

Ramaphosa takes a softball question from an ANC MP on the influence of BRICS on the SADC community.

He answers the question.

"As we are part of BRICS, we see ourselves as being there on behalf of the various countries on our continent. 

"What we seek to do is also advance the interests of those countries."

22 Aug 2018

Ramaphosa praising the influence of the BRICS group.

SA's membership gives it impetus so that "when we speak, we are listened to."

22 Aug 2018

Ramaphosa: "We cannot deny that the economy has grown since 1994. And that was led by the ANC government. You cannot wish that away.

"So if you want to Mr Shivambu, you can wish us luck, because we are here to stay. I thank you."

He moves on to the next question on BRICS.

22 Aug 2018

Ramaphosa: 'We want to promote black industrialists. We want to focus on small-to-medium enterprises.

"In countries like Germany, 70% of the operations are focussed on SMEs."

22 Aug 2018

Ramaphosa: "We are not only looking at foreign direct investment. We are looking mainly at local investment."

Ramaphosa again says a number of unnamed companies and investors have approached his government to say they want to help.

22 Aug 2018

EFF deputy leader Floyd Shivambu now answering supplimentary questions.

"How are you going to look for money from outside?

"It has never happened anywhere where you get Foreign Direct Investment if you have not been able to deal with the job problem, where there is an inward looking job creation plan, as was implented in South Korea, Japan, and south east Asia."

Ramaphosa says Shivambu is "talking from his book": investment and infrastructure development.

"If you really want to drive investment, you must demonstrate that companies in your own country... can invest in your own economy."

22 Aug 2018

Ramaphosa: "It will take time to clean up, but we will work on an ongoing basis that money finally does go toward the purposes it was intended to."

22 Aug 2018

Ramaphosa answering questions on money earmarked for projects being "siphoned out".

Ramaphosa: "Money has been siphoned out, and our experience as government in the North West, what we are seeing in the North West, shows us how we can tighten up, so money is used for the projects they are allocated for.

"We have become very alert."

"And what about Mpumalanga?" opposition MPs shout back, aimed at deputy president David Mabuza.

22 Aug 2018

READ: More on the proposed stimulus package:

22 Aug 2018

Ramaphosa to Maimane: "Maybe next week you may have better ideas if you wake up on the right side of the bed, bring it to me and it may be implementable.

"But for now you have disappointed me and I have not heard anything usable," he finishes. ANC MPs applaud.

DA chief whip John Steenhuisen shouts back, "Weak, weak, weak."

22 Aug 2018

Maimane challenges Ramaphosa, criticises his Cabinet choices, including the inclusion of ministers like Malusi Gigaba.

"If you want to ignite growth, are you willing to change your Cabinet to promote new economic growth?" Maimane asks.

Ramaphosa responds: "I had hoped almost for a moment that I would hear something new and pearls of wisdom.

"You are playing the men and not the substantive issues," he says.

22 Aug 2018

Mmusi Maimane now gets his chance to answer a follow up question.

Maimane says he is tired of hearing about summits and 9-point plans.

"The truth is, 75% of the new jobs in the country have been created in DA-led governments," Maimane says.

Huge cheers from the DA caucus, ANC MPs silenced.

"In Johannesburg alone we have had 100 000 new jobs," Maimane says again to applause.

22 Aug 2018

Ramaphosa: I want those who have plans to be brought to the table, so we can act and take SA forward.

He raises his voice as he says this, and takes a slight dig at the DA, claiming they aren't bringing solutions.

22 Aug 2018

"We are doing all this to ensure there is stronger competition regulation, revitilization of SOEs, and better transport system," Ramaphosa says.

22 Aug 2018

Ramaphosa says government's interventions will also improve ability of young people to enter job market as they move forward.

22 Aug 2018

Ramaphosa says Cabinet will be announcing details of stimulus package to reunite growth of the economy.

"This package prioritises funds for initiatives that are labour intensive and boosts local economies. This is the job of government.

"We also expect other actors to play their part. And bring forward proposals that have efficacy and can lead to real job creation."

22 Aug 2018

Ramaphosa: "We have prioritised the task of raising investment levels in the economy, since it is essential for growth and job creation.

"One of the ways is through investment."

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