South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday promised foreign investors that his government would not ask them to put money into his country and then “tomorrow take your land away,” saying this was “not something that any sensible person does.”The president said this during discussions on land reform, the power utility Eskom and the troubled economy at an investor conference hosted by the Goldman Sachs Group in Johannesburg.
Ramaphosa drew a direct line between the formation of the ruling African National Congress in 1912 and the party’s current land reform programme, saying land had remained “at the core” of the party’s message over the past 107 years.
“(The ANC) was not formed for getting (mere) votes, human rights and all that. It was formed for getting the land.
“One of the issues that almost derailed the dawn of democracy in our country was the land issue. It never died, it remained bubbling right at the bottom,” he said.
Ramaphosa said land reform and expropriation without compensation would take place in an orderly manner, with no land grabs as happened elsewhere.
Therefore, foreign investors have “nothing to fear”, he said, and the government would not take away land from them after asking them to invest in South Africa.
Ramaphosa said a reworked Land Expropriation Bill, which still has to go before the National Assembly, would lay out which kinds of land would be included in the expropriation process.