The land reform process is being done according to the law and the constitution, President Jacob Zuma said on Wednesday.
“I want to emphasise that our land reform process is properly regulated, it has been done according to the law and the Constitution,” Zuma said in a speech prepared for delivery at an ANC manifesto dinner at the Voortrekker Monument in Pretoria.
He said the subject of land was an important one, which needed to be handled responsibly and constructively.
“Our manifesto makes it clear. We will accelerate the settlement of remaining land claims submitted before the cut-off date of 1998.
“We will re-open the period for the lodgement of claims for restitution of land for a period of five years, commencing in 2014.
“We have also stated that we will codify the exceptions to the 1913 cut-off date for the descendants of the Khoi and San, and identify affected heritage sites and historical landmarks.”
Zuma also talked about affirmative action. He said transformation needed to be taken forward in a constructive manner.
“One of the instruments in this regard is employment equity laws including affirmative action.
“Affirmative Action is a necessary and a well-monitored tool to reverse inequalities. As of now the employment equity figures do not look good at all.”
He said although progress had been made to de-racialise the ownership, management and control of the economy, South Africa was far from closing the gap.
“For obvious historical reasons, income distribution and growth is also racially skewed.”
He said the average income of a white household was still six times that of the average African's.
“The income of the average annual African household is R60 613 while that of white households stands at R365 164.
“We should work together constructively to address this inequality as part of the ongoing transformation of our country.” - Sapa