SOUTH AFRICA will not allow a chaotic land grab akin to what happened in Zimbabwe the neighbouring country’s ruling party ANC deputy secretary general, Jessie Duarte, said Thursday.
A day after the South African Parliament voted to allow for amendments to the country’s constitution and pave way for land expropriation without compensation, President Cyril Rhamaphosa also told the House of Traditional Leaders that land redistribution in South Africa would be orderly.
Duarte was responding to questions from journalists at ANC headquarters in Johannesburg as the ruling party tried to pacify restive investors and an agitated population whipped into a frenzy by the opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF)’s nationalistic rhetoric.
“It’s absolute nonsense to think that South Africa will be another Zimbabwe. That will not happen,” Duarte said somewhat angrily.
Former President Robert Mugabe’s administration sponsored a chaotic land grab that at times turned violent leading to the deaths of dozens of white farmers at the hands of veterans of the liberation struggle and Zanu PF supporters nearly 20 years ago.
The land redistribution program has blamed for the economic decline and investor flight. Despite its negative effects on the economy and the political as well as social situation in the country the program continues to this day.
Ramaphosa seems to have realised that his ANC party’s support of the EFF’s parliamentary motion might have devastating effects on the economy and he moved in to assure investors that their money is still safe in South Africa.
“There will be no smash and grab of land in our country. That we will not allow,” said Rhamaposa to applause.
He appealed to South Africans to “desist from trying to instil fear in the hearts of investors” through messages claiming South Africa might embark in a land grab that threatens the investment climate.