World Bulletin / News Desk
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Saturday urged greater progress in land redistribution for the sake of national unity, saying not enough had been done since the end of apartheid.
"Without the redistribution of land, we will not build a united South Africa. Without giving the poor the means to productively farm the land, we will not defeat poverty," said Ramaphosa as he addressed a key 2019 election issue.
"We need to acknowledge that the lack of progress in land reform can be attributed to a great extent to weaknesses in the institutions responsible for effecting our polices, to inconsistencies in legislation, to misguided interventions and to a misallocation of resources," he told the opening session of a two-day policy workshop of the ruling African National Congress.
"To have placed 87 percent of the land into ownership hands of a white minority and only 13 percent being made available to the black majority was a clear act that was meant to stunt the economic prospects of the country," Ramaphosa said.
"Like all other economic resources in this country, it has historically been employed to serve the interests of a narrow section of society."
While noting the need also "to pay attention to other challenges, such as corruption and mismanagement" Ramaphosa stressed that "our responsibility is to ensure that we have a comprehensive, coherent and sustainable programme for land reform".
"This workshop needs to provide direction on how we use this mechanism most effectively to advance land reform," an overriding priority for the ANC ever since Nelson Mandela took office in 1994 as democracy swept aside the apartheid system.
The ANC will over the course of the weekend debate how to effect land expropriation without compensation, a matter of deep concern for whites.
In February, lawmakers decided by a large majority to set up a commission tasked with making constitional changes to that end.
A quarter of a century after the end of apartheid South Africa remains a country of deep inequality along racial lines.
U.S. withdrew from UN rights council, accusing it of being hypocritical and biased against Israel
New rule is latest effort by Trump to dismantle former President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act
Foreigners buy over 2,400 houses, marking a 36.1 percent rise year-on-year, according to official report
Over 1.4 million Turkish expats have cast their votes
Antonio Guterres 'would have much preferred for the United States to remain in the Human Rights Council,' spokesman says
Long sentence would set ‘strong precedent’ against Islamophobia
"Officials do not want to report these crimes," Trump says without presenting any evidence
Israeli national security adviser meets Russian counterpart in Moscow to discuss Syrian developments
NATO's breakdown is not inevitable -- we can maintain it, and all the benefits we derive, argues Jens Stoltenburg
Some interesting facts about Muslim nations and the players in this year’s competition.
Global tide of forcibly displaced people rose 2.9M last year; Turkey hosts largest refugee population, most Syrians
Republican-controlled Senate votes 85-10 for fiscal year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said earlier that nearly 40 foreign fighters allied to Syria's regime were killed in the raid in eastern Syria.
Osman Askin Bak says Turkey prepared to host 2024 UEFA European Football Championship
12,845 registered Turkish voters cast ballots for Turkey's presidential, general elections in New York