Ramaphosa's big thing is the economy. A growing economy is the antidote to so many of the country's social ills. And Ramaphosa, successful businessman that he is, knows that land expropriation without compensation is anathema to a growing economy. You can have one or the other. You can't have both.

Having failed to stop the conference resolution on land expropriation, he could, as party leader, have argued for the parliamentary decision on the matter to be postponed. Sure, he would have taken a lot of flak for it, but leaders have to fight their corner. In fact that's exactly what the ANC did with its conference resolution on the nationalisation of the Reserve Bank. It quietly put it on hold. Yet on the land issue, Ramaphosa allowed his party to meekly piggyback on the EFF.

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