News / South Africa / Local News

Laura Pisanello
2 minute read
5 Apr 2018
9:51 am

Mantashe says land reform not about ‘driving white people to the sea’

Laura Pisanello

Mantashe was speaking at the National Forum for Dialogue on Land, Heritage and Human Rights, where land reform dominated the discussions.

Gwede Mantashe.

Discussions surrounding land expropriation without compensation have dominated the National Forum for Dialogue on Land, Heritage and Human Rights in Illovo, Johannesburg, Sandton Chronicle reports.

The forum, hosted at the Gordon Institute of Business Science, saw major industry role players, including Minister of Mineral Resources Gwede Mantashe and Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, attend.

READ MORE: May 21 could be D-Day for Kempton Park squatters

Conversations about land expropriation without compensation have become hotly contested since a motion by the Economic Freedom Fighters was passed in parliament.

Mantashe said there was a need to dismantle the narrative that black ownership of land was equivalent to the destruction of food security.

Mantashe added the land debate was not about driving white people to the sea, rather, it was about the fair distribution of land or wealth. “When you restore land‚ you are not expropriating but restoring people’s dignity through access to land,” he said.

He added the land that would be made available must be productive, and land that is owned by the state must be the first to be expropriated.

Recent land grabs in Marlboro and Olivenhoutbosch have caused widespread fear, but Mantashe said there would be no place for anarchy.

“Anarchy must not be allowed to flourish, it must be dealt with and we must allow law enforcement agencies to do their work.”

Mathole Motshekga of the Justice Portfolio Committee, and Constitutional Review Committee member said nobody should feel threatened by this process and this was why there was a discussion.

“We all have a responsibility, black and white, to find a solution to an outstanding question,” said Motshekga.

“Therefore, no one should feel threatened by the process that is unfolding in parliament. There is a deepening moral degeneration and there is a triple challenge of poverty, unemployment and inequality which flows from the failure to address the land question.”

Motshekga concluded that it was not a matter of black against white, but rather a problem facing all South Africans.

“Let’s join hands and take it as a part of the new dawn that President [Cyril] Ramaphosa has spoken about.”

May 21 could be D-Day for Kempton Park squatters

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