Casablanca (ADV) – South Africa’s land redistribution drive will not affect communal lands controlled by tribal chiefs, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Friday, in a bid to defuse growing tensions over the issue.
On Wednesday Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini warned of possible violence if the state tried to expropriate communal lands which comprise 13 percent of South Africa.
More than 20 years after the end of apartheid, land ownership is contentious in South Africa, the continent’s biggest economy. Most land is still in the hands of the white minority, making it a potent symbol of wider income and ownership disparities.
Public hearings are currently underway to gauge support for a policy proposal by the ruling African National Congress (ANC) to change the constitution to allow for land to be expropriated for redistribution to poor blacks.
“It is not government’s intention to go and grab land from rural communities, land that is under the control of traditional leaders,” Ramaphosa said in televised remarks at a business breakfast.
© Bur-csa – ADV