President Ramaphosa allays concerns of farmers

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has again tried to allay fears about land expropriation. He was addressing farm-owners, businessmen, and academics in Stellenbosch on Tuesday.

The dialogue included role of white South Africans in the country.

Ramaphosa received a warm welcome at the Beyerskloof Wine Estate, in Stellenbosch. Here, the largely white audience gave him their support, saying they trusted him.

But, the issue of land expropriation, and uncertainty around this was again raised.

Ramaphosa gave his word that the Expropriation Bill is progressive legislation which would be enacted and carried out in a fair and balanced manner.

He said no one should fear the process, encouraging guests to look at it in a positive light.

And, speaking directly to white South Africans, he reminded them they have a role to play in the country. He says he will soon embark on a campaign to bring back South Africans who have left the country.

The President says there are many black and white people who have left the country that should be encouraged to come back and rebuild the country.

He says South Africa has a place for all the people and no one should feel excluded.

“I want those South Africans who are in the Diaspora to come back home here to South Africa to come and make a contribution to grow our country because there is no other country better than South Africa.”

Farmers to treat workers with compassion

The president again reiterated the need to give better care and housing to farm workers, a topic he has been focussing on for the past few months.

He has called on farmers to treat their workers with compassion and to stop the practice of evictions. He says farmers are in a more powerful position compared to farm workers.

He said white farmers can secure their own place in South Africa by recognising that a wrong was done to black people when they were dispossessed of their land.

“Any farm owner is in a stronger position than a farm worker and needs to deal with people with a better deal of humanity. And deal with them knowing we are dealing with human beings, and have a proper balance and say my humanity should dictate that I should have a type of humanity that will not make me just evict these people off their farm.”