Ramaphosa assures German president that there will be no land grabs

South Africa’s new President Cyril Ramaphosa. Rebuilding institutions will be key. Image Credits: Reuters/Gianluigi Guercia

President Cyril Ramaphosa during a visit from German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier reassured foreign investors that land grabs will not form a part of proposed land reforms.

Early last week, Parliament’s joint constitutional review committee officially recommend that the constitution be amended to allow the explicit use of expropriation.

The decision by Parliament’s joint constitutional review committee raised concerns for investors in an IMF report this week.

At a joint press conference at Tuynhuys in Cape Town, Ramaphosa assured the German president and press that land reforms will be carried out in an orderly and lawful manner.

“There will be no land grabs. Investors should have no fear.

“We cannot invite people to come and invest and then take their investments. It is like inviting a guest to your home and then rob them of their possessions. We cannot do that.

“Investors should know that their investments will be secure. We are [working on] a land reform process so that we can have more stability. The more stability we have, the more everybody’s interest is safe guarded including everybody’s investment.”

Germany ranks as South Africa’s third-largest trading partner and German companies maintain subsidiaries or production plants in the country that sustain 100,000 jobs.

Steinmeier was positive about the relationship with South Africa and Ramaphosa hopes that trade between the two nations will continue to expand.

“We agreed to continue our efforts to further expand trade and investment between SA and Germany,” Ramaphosa said.

“This provides a firm foundation to grow our economic relationship in line with our effort to significantly increase investment in the country and, as part of the Jobs Summit agreements, to develop our export capacity.”

The German president said that the State Capture hearings were being perceived in a positive light in Europe and that investors will be pleased to see the independence of South Africa’s judiciary getting a boost.

“We’re visiting you at a time when interest in SA is awakening again. We’re following the new developments in SA with great interest. We’re following your new policies, your efforts to strengthen the independence of the judiciary by creating transparency; also your efforts to fight corruption.

“We’re following very closely the governmental institutions’ efforts [to fight] what is called state capture in SA. They are a very important signal to the international community, a signal that is very well received in Germany,” said Steinmeier.

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