President Cyril Ramaphosa says government’s land reform policy will be implemented in such a manner that it will bolster economic growth and create jobs without negatively impacting on agricultural productivity.
The President said this when he responded to oral questions in the National Assembly on Tuesday.
Opposition leader Mmusi Maimane had asked for the details of the assurances that the recently appointed special economic envoys will give to potential investors that South Africa can meet its National Development Plan targets despite its plan to expropriate land without compensation.
President Ramaphosa said for South Africa to grow faster and to build a transformed and inclusive economy, land reform was necessary and urgent.
He said government would advance the three elements of land reform – redistribution, restitution and security of tenure – through inclusive dialogue.
“We will explain to potential investors that land reform is not incompatible with agricultural productivity and economic development, as the historical experience of some East Asian economies, such as South Korea, demonstrates.
“Land reform, which will include the mechanism of expropriation without compensation, will be implemented in a way that contributes to a stronger economy, job creation and economic freedom.
“We will do so without jeopardising economic development, agricultural production or food security,” he said.
The President said in its investment law, government provides significant guarantees to domestic and foreign investors.
During Team South Africa’s engagements at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, during investor road shows in the US and UK, and most recently during recent roundtable discussions with CEOs in London, government has found that foreign investors appreciate the need for South Africans to find sustainable solutions to the inequitable distribution of land and wealth.
“In their investment decisions, investors take a long-term view on the market opportunities, sector policy and support and regulatory environment,” he said.
Investors looking for stability, certainty
Meanwhile, the President said foreign investors always seek stability and policy certainty wherever they take their money.
SA’s special economic envoys will indicate that steady progress is being made in consultation with industry, labour and communities on the finalisation of the Mining Charter.
“We will soon be finalising our approach on the allocation of spectrum, which will build the requisite capacity for a modern inclusive economy.
“Government is levelling the playing field for investors and businesses entering concentrated markets through amendments to competition legislation,” he said.
The President said it is significant that Moody’s ratings agency recently decided to keep South Africa at an investment grade and changed its outlook from negative to stable, affirming the country’s recent political and economic developments.
“Foreign investors that we have interacted with over the last few months are increasingly optimistic about the prospects for the South African economy and looking with great interest at possible investment opportunities.”