Land expropriation top of President's agenda

Thursday, May 24, 2018

President Cyril Ramaphosa has reiterated his stance that land reform is pivotal to restoring the dignity of South Africans and the country at large.

“Land reform is fundamental to the eradication of poverty. It is fundamental to restoring the dignity of all South Africans, to foster reconciliation and to forge national unity.

“It is for this reason that this government – guided by the resolutions of the 54th National Conference of the governing party – is undertaking measures to accelerate the redistribution of land, the extension of security of tenure, the provision of agricultural support and the redress of spatial inequality,” said President Ramaphosa.

The President made these remarks on Thursday afternoon as he replied to the Presidency Budget Vote debate, which he delivered on Wednesday.

“If poor people cannot own property and live close to the economic centres of our towns and cities, the cost of living will remain as high as the cost of looking for work.

“That is why we will not relent in our determination to use expropriation without compensation as one of the mechanisms to effect land reform,” he said.

President Ramaphosa said instead of using land grabs which are illegal, the country must look to the Constitution, which is the gives guidance on addressing land expropriation.

Resizing of Cabinet 

In response to questions on the size of his Cabinet, President Ramaphosa said the reconfiguration of the State is not just about cutting down of government departments but rather on using resources efficiently.

“The reconfiguration of the State is a far greater and more ambitious undertaking that must go to the heart of the capacity of government to meet the country’s developmental needs.

“We need to address issues of structure, not just of national departments, but of all spheres and all public institutions. We also need to address issues of efficiency and resource allocation,” said President Ramaphosa.

He also highlighted fruitless, wasteful, irregular and unauthorised expenditure as something that could be addressed readily to improve the efficiency of government.

Dysfunctional municipalities 

With the spotlight firmly on ailing municipalities following the release of the Auditor-General’s 2016/17 report on Wednesday, the President said a simplified revenue plan is being implemented to assist these municipalities.

The plan will look to improve revenue management, reduce municipal consumer debt, and enhance municipalities’ revenue collection potential.

Political killings

In a bid to address the scourge of political killings in KwaZulu-Natal, the President announced that he has appointed an Inter-Ministerial Committee comprising the Ministers of Defence, Police, State Security and Justice.

“The IMC has begun meeting key stakeholders in the province and is expected to present a comprehensive report by the end of the month on measures to end these killings and to bring those responsible to justice,” said the President.

He concluded by thanking his staff in the Presidency who assist in ensuring he gets the job done.

“I wish to conclude by expressing my gratitude to Ministers Dlamini-Zuma and Dlamini, the Director-General in The Presidency Dr Cassius Lubisi, my Acting Deputy Director-General Mr Busani Ngcaweni, my advisers, staff, secretariat and protectors,” said the President.

In addition to his staff, the President thanked his wife, Dr Tshepo Motsepe, who recently underwent a knee operation, adding that she is recuperating and will soon return to her work in early childhood development. –