No threat of sanctions ahead of land expropriation

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

There is no reason to believe any country would impose sanctions against South Africa as it engages in a process to implement land expropriation without compensation.

Addressing members of the National Council of Provinces during a question and answer session on Tuesday, President Cyril Ramaphosa said there is increasing consensus among individuals and organisations – both within the country and internationally – that accelerated land reform is essential for inclusive growth and development.

He said this as the debate around amending the Constitution to pave the way for expropriation without compensation continues to intensify.
“There is broad support for government’s position that the measures required to effect land reform must be guided by the Constitution, must affirm the rule of law, must enhance the property rights of all South Africans and should not undermine the economy, agricultural output or food security.
“We have no reason to believe that any country would impose sanctions on South Africa for any actions that we take that are constitutional, lawful and consistent with international law,” said the President.

He said he had discussed the land reform programme with the United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May when she came to South Africa on a working visit recently.

“She welcomed the way in which we are approaching the land issue, and understood that land reform could unlock further investment opportunities, as long as it remained legal and transparent and was the product of a democratic process.”

Last month, United States President Donald Trump took to Twitter to state that he had directed his Secretary of State Michael Pompeo to look into land expropriation and the alleged killing of farmers in South Africa.

Addressing Members of Parliament on Tuesday, the President said his office had not received any communication from the US government regarding the expropriation of land without compensation.
“However, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation did meet with the Chargé d'Affaires of the United States Embassy on 23 August 2018 regarding comments made on Twitter by US President Donald Trump.
“The Chargé d’Affaires was urged to convey to the Government of the United States, South Africa’s deep concern and to point out that the people of South Africa, of all races, are working together through Parliament and other legal platforms to find a solution to this historic challenge.”

President Ramaphosa said South Africa remains ready and willing to engage with any country or international organisation on its approach to land reform.

He added that South Africa enjoys good political, economic and trade relations with the United States and diplomatic channels remain open to provide clarity on any issue of mutual interest, including land reform. –