Sisulu said the US understood that South Africa’s land reform process was a constitutional matter. Photo: Supplied

CAPE TOWN – International Relations and Co-operation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu on Monday stated that the matter of land expropriation without compensation was not high on the agenda of her upcoming meeting with US counterpart Mike Pompeo.

Pompeo, an attorney who serves as the 70th US Secretary of State, was in August ordered by US President Donald Trump, via Twitter to look into South Africa’s planned land expropriation without compensation.

Sisulu said when addressing media at her department’s monthly briefing that the US understood that South Africa’s land reform process was a constitutional matter that would be adequately addressed. 

“It is not a matter that will be a priority in our discussions. We have a great deal to talk about,” Sisulu was quoted as saying by SAnews.gov, adding that the matter had been raised in the first meeting between the two. 

“They issued a statement indicating that the process outlined by ourselves is a constitutional process. It is a process within our laws and it will be handled properly, so there was no need for us to talk about that, but we agreed that for any (US companies) wanting to invest in South Africa, if there was any still lingering concern, we will make sure that we educate them,” the minister said. 

Sisulu said the matter had been discussed at length at various events such as the investment conference, and the Indian Ocean Rim Association and if there was anyone out there still with land concerns “we will be able to provide a solid dossier on how this is a constitutional requirement”.

While President’s Cyril Ramaphosa’s move to expropriate land without compensation has been welcomed by the masses, there have been some influential entities that have expressed their disapproval, citing economic issues. 

The Institute of Race Relations (IRR) said in September – shortly after South Africa was found to have slipped into a technical recession – that the government’s push for expropriation without compensation was making South Africans poorer. 

The IRR said investor fears that the government was committed to push ahead with its expropriation policy explained much of the weakening in the rand which has since recovered from lows of about R15 a dollar.

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE