President Cyril Ramaphosa, whose tough stance on graft was in the spotlight last week amid a slew of arrests, used his weekly letter on Monday to tackle the issue of redistributing state land to the country’s poor.
When Ramaphosa became president he promised, among other things, that disenfranchised South Africans would have access to land and that those accused of corruption would be held to account. While the fight against graft has taken a step forward, the land issue may be central to placating his detractors in the ruling African National Congress.
“Broadening access to land and opportunities for farming will support job creation and enterprise development, and improve the market for food, agricultural goods and services,” Ramaphosa said in his letter. “We are prioritising women, youth and persons with disabilities as beneficiaries.”
Transforming patterns of agricultural land ownership is vital not just to address the historical injustices of the past, but to safeguard our nation’s food security. https://t.co/rwSdMaNVrV pic.twitter.com/97OsLZ8V1b
— Cyril Ramaphosa
The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development said last week that members of the public will be able to apply to lease 700,000 hectares of underutilised or vacant state land in seven of the country’s nine provinces.
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