Eyewitness News (South Africa), December 17, 2018
President Cyril Ramaphosa says reconciliation is depended on resolving land disputes in the country.
Ramaphosa delivered the key note address to hundreds of people in Umtata at the official Reconciliation Day commemoration on Sunday.
The president says for South Africa to strive for equality there needs to be expropriation of land without compensation.
“Far from being a measure that will fuel tensions or set race relations back, accelerated land reform has the potential to improve goodwill between the people of our country.”
Ramaphosa says the land issue must be resolved.
“Most of the country’s land remains in the hands of a few people in our country. but we must consider that failure to resolve the land issue will threaten the stability of our democratic nation.”
Parliament recently adopted a report recommending the amendment of section 25 of the Constitution to expropriate land without compensation.
Ramaphosa said South Africans should be committed to fundamental economic transformation as this is necessary for the country is to be fully reconciled.
Speaking to hundreds gathered at the university, Ramaphosa said there needs to be a meaningful participation of black people in the economy of the country.
He said reconciliation cannot exist in an unequal society.
“We can’t be a reconciled nation for as long as the majority of the people of South Africa continue to suffer from the injustices of the past.”
As South Africa battles to reduce its high youth unemployment rate which stands at above 20% for young people with a tertiary qualification Ramaphosa said young people in the country should be upskilled.
“We need to pursue, with greater effort, an inclusive economy by improving the skills of our young people.”
Ramaphosa has emphasised that reconciliation and justice require action to redress of past and current injustices.
“So long as millions of South Africans are burdened by poverty and underdevelopment and the prospects for a better life are absent, we’ll not have achieved our goal for justice.”