Ramaphosa: I will resolve land issues between whites and blacks in South Africa

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President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Thursday he would like to resolve land issues in South Africa “once and for all”.

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Why it matters: In South Africa, whites still own most of the land following centuries of brutal colonial dispossession. The racial disparities in property ownership have remained two decades after the end of apartheid.

Reuters reported that South Africa took a step on Tuesday to “hasten the transfer of land from white to black owners when parliament backed a motion seeking to change the constitution to allow land expropriation without compensation”.

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“I will shortly initiate a dialogue with key stakeholders … There is no need for any one of us to panic and start beating war drums,” Ramaphosa told the National Council of Provinces in televised remarks.

“We are going to address this and make sure that we come up with resolutions that resolve this once and for all. This original sin that was committed when our country was colonised must be resolved in a way that will take South Africa forward.”

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The ruling African National Congress adopted a policy in December to redress racial ownership disparities by expropriating land without compensation, pledging to do so in way that does not undermine food security in Africa’s top maize producer, Reuters said.

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