Land reform critical for SA‚ Ramaphosa tells UN

President Cyril Ramaphosa.
President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Image: GCIS

Land reform was critical for South Africa because of its “history of dispossession” - and it is the government’s responsibility to “bring all our people into the economic mainstream”.

That is what president Cyril Ramaphosa said on Wednesday at a round-table discussion at the United Nations in New York in an attempt to court investors to back South Africa.

“There is general agreement among most South Africans that we need to accelerate land reform not only to redress a historical injustice but also to effectively unlock the economic potential of the country’s land‚” the president said.

Ramaphosa said the government wanted land and agrarian reforms which ensures transformation‚ development and stability yet provide certainty to landowners‚ those who need land and investors.

“As the country emerges from nearly a decade of low growth‚ declining investment and faltering employment‚ we are determined to forge a new growth path.”

Ramaphosa repeated his wish to raise “at least” $100bn in new investment in the country over the next five years. As part of this effort‚ he invited the audience to attend an investment conference in Johannesburg on October 26.

“We intend to use that fund to leverage investments from development finance institutions‚ multilateral development banks‚ asset managers and commercial banks.”

Ramaphosa wanted to draw investors by ensuring policy certainty‚ improving the performance of state-owned enterprises and consolidating fiscal debt.

He highlighted the stimulus and recovery plan to restore growth‚ save existing jobs and create new ones after it was announced last week that South Africa is in a recession.

It will focus on reforms in key sectors such as mining‚ oil‚ gas‚ tourism and telecommunications which “have been constrained by policy uncertainty”.

He added that the local economy has “several fundamental strengths that makes it a suitable destination for investment”.

“Multinationals with a presence in South Africa cite numerous advantages‚ from excellent financial systems to world-class infrastructure.

“South Africa is a regional manufacturing and services hub on the African continent‚ and‚ for many companies‚ serves as a base to export products globally.”

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