President vows land reform won't violate the constitution or human rights

President vows land reform won't violate the constitution or human rights

- President Cyril Ramaphosa assured the European Parliament that land expropriation without compensation will be done without violating the constitution

- He said it will be executed in adherence to the constitution and without disrespecting the human rights of South Africans

- An expert said investors' confidence has taken a knock in the country due to uncertainties about land reform

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On Wednesday, while speaking at the European Parliament, South African president, Cyril Ramaphosa said the constitution won't be violated when enacting land expropriation without compensation.

Ramaphosa said land expropriation will be executed in adherence to South Africa's constitution and with respect for the human rights of citizens.

Ramaphosa told the parliament:

“This problem of land will be resolved through adherence to the rule of law and adherence to the constitution.”

To address racial inequality in land ownership, the ANC wants to change the constitution to permit land reform without compensation.

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However, the ANC's plans have cause a decline in investors' confidence in the country.

A group executive from the World Bank indicated the ANC's plan to expropriate land without compensation has unnerved investors, Eyewitness News reported.

With the 2019 elections around the corner, the ruling party has acceleration of land reform a key issue. But, the ANC also vowed their plans will not threaten the country's food security.

Sérgio Pimenta, the deputy president for the Middle East and Africa at the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank’s private investment arm, told Reuters that if uncertainty of some aspects of your environment is created, and land tenure is one of them, investors will look at it. gathered that he said investors are looking for certainty.

He added the land expropriation subject is complex, but said it's important that South Africa creates an environment that is not only reliable, but certain too.

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The country's public hearings into land reform attracted large crowds and were often filled with emotional testimonies.

A parliamentary committee will consider the testimonies, as well as other contributions, before it suggested if the constitution should be changed or not to permit land reform without compensation.

Meanwhile, Pimenta said South Africa’s economic outlook in the long term looked positive, adding that the bank invested about $2 billion through the IFC over the last five to six years.

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