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Ramaphosa aims to resolve land issue "once and for all"

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Ramaphosa aims to resolve land issue "once and for all"

President Cyril Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa

1st March 2018

By: Reuters

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President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Thursday he wants talks on the thorny topic of land expropriation to avoid panic but aims to resolve the issue of racial disparities in property ownership "once and for all".

South Africa took a step on Tuesday to hasten the transfer of land from white to black owners when parliament backed a motion seeking to change the constitution to allow land expropriation without compensation.

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The subject remains highly emotive more than two decades after the end of apartheid. Whites still own most of South Africa's land following centuries of brutal colonial dispossession.

"I will shortly initiate a dialogue with key stakeholders ... There is no need for any one of us to panic and start beating war drums," Ramaphosa told the National Council of Provinces in televised remarks.

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"We are going to address this and make sure that we come up with resolutions that resolve this once and for all. This original sin that was committed when our country was colonised must be resolved in a way that will take South Africa forward."

The ruling African National Congress adopted a policy in December to redress racial ownership disparities by expropriating land without compensation, pledging to do so in way that does not undermine food security in Africa's top maize producer.

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