Deputy President David Mabuza. Picture: NTSWE MOKOENA
Deputy President David Mabuza. Picture: NTSWE MOKOENA

The government will stand firm on opposing land grabs and invasions, Deputy President David Mabuza said on Thursday.

Responding to questions in the National Assembly, Mabuza said the government would use all available legal mechanisms "to ensure that land invasions do not occur".

"We will stand firm and oppose land grabs and land invasions … we will use the law to ensure that it does not happen. We request all of you to stand firm and condemn land invasions. It is our collective effort," Mabuza said.

SA has experienced sporadic land occupations and invasions in the wake of the ANC’s announcement that it would push for a constitutional amendment that would make it clear how land could be expropriated without compensation.

Despite the joint constitutional review committee still considering the possibility of amending the constitution, earlier in August President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the ANC would support an amendment to the constitution — a move that sent shockwaves across the agricultural sector and the broader economy.

During Thursday’s session, Mabuza also fielded questions about the unemployment crisis and the escalating cost of living.

"There are a lot of government interventions to try to cushion the poor from the rising cost of living. I am aware that those interventions might not be enough … we should continue in our efforts to help the poor to live a decent life," Mabuza said.

"It’s not that we are sitting doing nothing … we are pursuing poverty-alleviating programmes as government … there are a number of interventions that seek to cushion the poor [and] as we confront these challenges we should not upset the economy. Remember the policy on free higher education is a good policy, but it comes with costs."

phakathib@businesslive.co.za