President Cyril Ramaphosa File picture: Ian Landsberg/ANA
Cape Town - The National House of Traditional Leaders has backed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s call for the expropriation of land without compensation.

This comes as Ramaphosa told the House in Parliament on Thursday there was no need for anyone to panic over this. He also warned that the government would not tolerate land grabs.

Kgoshi Malesela Dikgale, of the House of Traditional Leaders in Limpopo, said they wanted expropriation of land without compensation to be executed urgently.

“Some have said: when you talk about this expropriation, do you want to scare off the banks, do you want the rand to fall? The answer is no. We are not saying give us the land, we want to pocket it and go to the US,” said Dikgale.

He noted that in South Africa, there were 4million white people who own 72% of the land, 4.9 million coloureds who own 16% of the land, 1.6million Indians who own 5% of the land, and 45 million blacks with 4% ownership of the land.

Dikgale said this was a skewed ownership pattern and needed to be addressed.

“President (Ramaphosa), we support this move that land be expropriated and we get our land back. We don’t want to scare anybody away in the country of our birth. Expropriation of land without compensation is the way to go,” he asserted.

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Farmers have warned that expropriation of land without compensation would put at risk the R160billion in loans they had taken with the banks.

In his reply to the debate, Ramaphosa said the issue must be expedited, but should not scare off investors.

Parliament has passed a motion that has paved the way for the Constitutional Review Committee to look at how to amend section 25 of the constitution on property rights.

Ramaphosa said they would handle the matter with care, and would emerge victorious.

He said the adoption of the motion by Parliament had instilled both hope and fear in people.

But Ramaphosa said there was nothing to fear about the land reform programme.

“There will be no smash-and-grab of land in our country. That we will not allow.”

Ramaphosa said he would start a process of meeting all the stakeholders involved in the process.

“There is no need for anyone to panic and beat the drums of war,” he said, adding that agricultural production must continue. He said the issue would be solved without any problems.

Political Bureau