President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on South Africa’s business community to assist government’s land reform process by donating land.
Ramaphosa made the call while addressing Business Unity South Africa’s (BUSA) economic indaba in Sandton, Johannesburg, on Tuesday.
He said, “This year, we are going to have to finalise the legislation and the constitutional construct on the land question, and this is where the business community can participate in, I believe, a much more proactive manner.”
The President added, “One of the things we’ve been asking for is the business community to come forward with solutions.
“One of those things we’ve put out in legislation is a donations policy. Is it possible for the business community in our country to come forward and say, we actually have surplus land that we’re not using which we believe can be donated?
“Is it possible for a group of farmers or a number of people who own land to come forward?”
Ramaphosa was referring to the draft national policy for beneficiary selection and land allocation, which was released by the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform earlier this month.
Anglo American example
The draft policy proposes the establishment of an online portal where land owners can indicate willingness to donate land.
Applicants can then apply for land with the assistance of independent national and provincial panels for property allocation, according to the proposals.
Ramaphosa cited the example of mining giant Anglo American Platinum, which donated land to the Rustenburg municipality in the North West in March 2019 for residential purposes.
He added, “The people of our country want to see the land question addressed. The key issue for us is, are we going to be part of the solution or are we going to be part of the problem?
“And I would like to suggest that, as the business community, let us also be part of the solution when it comes to the most important issue that is of the greatest concern to the people of our country.”
Ramaphosa’s comments come soon after Parliament published the land expropriation bill for public comment in December.
The bill seeks to amend the Constitution to allow for land expropriation without compensation under certain circumstances.