During his first question and answer session as president of the country, Cyril Ramaphosa said though it is a rare occurrence, he is at times impressed by the conduct of mayors from the main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA).
One of these mayors, he said, is City of Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba, whom Ramaphosa said had shown that the land expropriation without compensation parliamentary resolution was correct.
During the debate on the motion, which was tabled by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and amended and then supported by Ramaphosa’s ANC, the DA had vehemently opposed it.
Ramaphosa said Mashaba had stated that the City council would expropriate buildings in a bid to expand affordable accommodation and that the City would be willing to expropriate inner city Johannesburg buildings, where owners cannot be located or a fair selling price was not agreed on, and that such buildings would be expropriated without compensation.
“This begins to tell you that the resolution that was adopted here [parliament] is actually a correct resolution, and it is critical that we make this an inclusive process in which all South Africans are actively involved in finding just and equitable lasting solutions,” Ramaphosa said.
He added he was most impressed by the viewpoint of a 47-year-old white South African who advised people of his own race against feelings of panic about expropriation of land without compensation.
Ramaphosa said the 47-year-old pointed out that a careful reading of the motion adopted in parliament last month acknowledges that the black African majority was confined to 13% of the land while their white counterparts owned 87% of the land.
Ramaphosa said the 47-year-old also drew attention to other points within the resolution before advising fellow white South Africans that the expropriation of land without compensation would not be the first time that a South African government has taken land without paying for it.
Ramaphosa was responding to a question by the DA on government’s full details to expropriate land without compensation.
Ramaphosa said leading up to the implementation of the policy, broad public consultations would get under way to ensure the process is inclusive.
The motion adopted in parliament will pave the way for the amendment of the property clause in the constitution.
Ramaphosa said this clause should be used to transform the country and used for radical transformation and as an instrument to facilitate the transfer of land and property to the previously disadvantaged.