CAPE TOWN– South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has assured that the ongoing efforts to expropriate land without compensation have never targeted communal land owned by tribal chiefs, the ruling African National Congress (ANC) said on Saturday.

The ANC issued the statement following a meeting between Ramaphosa and Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini on Friday in KwaZulu-Natal Province.

The communal land is mainly held under the custodianship of traditional leaders for and in the interest of the people, the ANC quoted Ramaphosa as telling the king.

The communal land controlled by tribal chiefs constitutes about 13 percent of the total land in South Africa where the white minority owned most of the land.

Land being targeted for compensation is the remaining 87 percent and all expropriation undertakings will be lawful and in just accordance with the desires of the South Africans, Ramaphosa told Zwelithini at the meeting.

As the pace for land reform is gaining momentum, traditional leaders have voiced concern over the possibility of the land owned by tribal chiefs to be redistributed to landless blacks.

Some ANC leaders reportedly want to include land controlled by local chiefs in its plans to redistribute property to the black majority.

Earlier this week, Zulu King Zwelithini convened a meeting to discuss the government’s land-expropriation plans. Zwelithini has in the past accused the government of trying to take land from his people.

“We have no intention to tamper with the land that is being administered by our chiefs on behalf of the people,” Ramaphosa told Zwelithini.

Ramaphosa also addressed ANC volunteers following the meeting, assuring that neither the government nor the ANC had any intention of taking land from the Ingonyama Trust which it has custody of on behalf of the people of KwaZulu-Natal, according to Mabe.

The Ingonyama Trust is a corporate entity established to administer the land traditionally owned by the Zulu people.

An agreement was reached that further engagements on the land question would assist both parties going forward, Mabe added.

In February, the National Assembly passed a motion on expropriation of land without compensation, a move designed to accelerate land reform in South Africa.

The motion allows for the review of Section 25 of the Constitution and other clauses where necessary to sufficiently cater for the principle of land expropriation without compensation.


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