Take us or leave us – Cyril Ramaphosa on land reform
Land expropriation without compensation is going to happen whether South Africans, US President Donald Trump and the UN General Assembly like it or not.
President Cyril Ramaphosa made this clear at a business breakfast in Pietermaritzburg, where he told black professionals that he would not be apologetic about the government's land reform programme.
"I am relaxed even to those that are propagating false stories," he said. "I have just come back from China, where I explained our policy very well and they understood. I am going to the US soon to the UN and I am going to explain it there as well.
"I am going to explain it without any fear and I am going to say: 'This is us. Take us or leave us.'"
Ramaphosa has already responded to Trump's misleading tweet asking his secretary of state to closely study the SA "land and farm seizures and expropriations and the large-scale killing of farmers". He will use his coming trip to the UN General Assembly in New York to further describe the land reform policy.
Ramaphosa told black professionals yesterday that those fearful of the policy should understand that the government wanted a win-win outcome.
"We are not saying that we want a win-lose type of outcome out of this. We want a win-win outcome. We want our people to win, and so do we want those who are holding land to have some measure of success too."
He said the government just wanted balance because 87% of South African land had been given to a minority population.
"We are saying that equation has to be balanced, and because we are balanced people and we are not mad, we are going to do it in a responsible manner, but we are not going to turn away from making sure it does happen.
"Happen it shall, whether people like it or not; it is going to happen."
On the technical recession, Ramaphosa said the government would respond "to this moment we are going through in a number of days".
He added: "We should not be fearful and think that we are in a recession. We are not. This is going to be corrected and I have no doubt about it. But besides that, we have been here before.
"In the end, smart governments are governments that respond and give guidance on what is going to happen, which is precisely what our government is going to do."