African National Congress (ANC) president Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday night said South Africa would never experience chaotic land grabs, despite simmering tensions over government’s land reform programme.
“Let’s find solutions together. The one thing that I’ve always said, that will never be allowed, is to have land grabs. We are going to solve this problem working together and finding solutions that are fit for South Africa. As South Africans we have been able to find solutions for the most difficult and almost intractable problems,” said Ramaphosa.
He was addressing a gathering in Lynnwood, east of Pretoria, as part of the governing party’s campaign prior to the country’s May 8 general election.
“We have great minds in our nation, and those great minds are going to be put to work to make sure that we do find solutions. Much as we live in a country where there is private ownership, we also have a hybrid type of system. There is private ownership and communal ownership. The land being claimed is for communal ownership and the Constitution recognises that.”
Ramaphosa’s engagement with the affluent community was “part of our deliberate efforts to engage with diverse sectors thus giving effect to our commitment to renewal and igniting the cusp of hope in the nation”, according to the ANC.
The president was accompanied by senior party members including Gauteng premier David Makhura and Tshwane ANC regional chairperson Kgosi Maepa.
Several people in the auditorium raised questions about the land redistribution programme being pushed by the ANC. In his response, Ramaphosa made it clear that the land question would inevitably be addressed.
“We have always been saying we have a Constitution, and there is a constitutional process that is now underway. The Constitution is what we are going to adhere to. We are law abiding, and the rule of law must apply. This matter is going to be handled with the seriousness, and with the delicacy, it requires. We have to secure the interests of all South Africans,” said Ramaphosa.
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