Cyril Ramaphosa insists that land reform is essential
The president says that if land reform is well handled‚ it ‘will help to bind the nation together and produce benefits for everyone’
Land reform is a must.
That is what President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Thursday evening when he addressed the Afrikanerbond — previously the Afrikaner Broederbond — during their centenary celebrations at Rhebokskloof in Paarl in the Western Cape.
"If we want this country to move forward‚ we must have land reform. It has to be done in a deep and meaningful way. If well handled‚ this issue of land will help to bind the nation together and produce benefits for everyone‚" Ramaphosa said.
"If badly handled‚ and if badly managed‚ it will simply redistribute resentment‚ damage the economy‚ multiply protests‚ destroy social peace and social cohesion.
"If not undertaken at all‚ the country will remain divided."
The Afrikanerbond was established on June 5‚ 1918 in Malvern‚ Johannesburg, to "look after the economic and cultural interests of the Afrikaner community".
Ramaphosa said discussions on land reform would be guided by the Freedom Charter and the starting point should be accepting historic injustices.
"The land shall be shared. The land should never have been and should not be reserved for one group of South Africans.
"All those who work the land and all those who want to work the land‚ should be equally able to have land‚ because land is an important economic resource as we have seen in our past.
"We need to acknowledge that the taking of land and removal of the majority of South Africans from their land‚ was the source of poverty and the inequality that we see."
Ramaphosa said there was a "deep contradiction" in the Afrikanerbond being born out of subjugation by the English to uplift Afrikaners‚ only to suppress the majority of South Africans during apartheid.
"It is one of the greatest tragedies in our country‚ in the 20th century that is‚ that in pursuing the rights and the freedoms that all people yearn for and deserve‚ the Afrikaner Broederbond would inadvertently deny the majority of South Africans these very rights and freedoms.
"It is a tragedy that the desire of the Afrikaner people for self-determination‚ the preservation of their language‚ and their culture‚ and affirmation of their own identity as a people should have formed the basis for the perpetuation of the discriminatory practices of the colonial era."
Ramaphosa called on the Afrikanerbond to share the skills that powered the "engine" behind uplifting Afrikaners to now empower others.
"Those skills‚ that knowledge‚ that experience must now be used to empower all the people of our country‚ because you were placed in a very special place by the system that prevailed at that time.
"While this contributed in no small measure to the highly unequal distribution of wealth and skills and opportunities in our society‚ the Broederbond was responsible for unleashing the economic potential of the Afrikaner people."
Ramaphosa said the government has so far received 140‚000 submissions on the debate of expropriation of land without compensation.