S.African leader warns citizens against land grabbing

Majority of land in South Africa still remains in the hands of a few whites, while most blacks are landless
JOHANNESBURG (AA) – South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa warned citizens Wednesday that his government will not tolerate land grabbings which are becoming common in the country.
“We will not allow land grabs, it’s illegal and violates rights of other South Africans,” he said in the parliament during a question and answer session.
Land grabbing has become rampant in the country ever since the parliament proposed to change the Constitution that would allow for the expropriation of land without paying compensation to the owners.
Many cases have been recorded across the country where so-called landless people have been seen grabbing pieces of vacant land to construct their homes.
The land grabbers say they have been waiting for the government to allocate them free housing.
“We can’t allow a situation of land grabs that’s anarchy. Those who attempt such activities must be warned,’’ Ramaphosa said.
Land is a sensitive issue in South Africa, where the majority of the natural resource still remains in the hands of a few whites. Most commercial farms in the country that produce the bulk of food are owned by whites.
The majority of black South Africans lack land to cultivate crops or build their homes. They live in crowded tin houses in shanty towns across the country.
The ruling African National Congress (ANC) says the policy to expropriate land without compensation is designed to address the past injustices of apartheid, which saw black-owned land being forcefully taken.
Ramaphosa said his government will undertake broad consultation with citizens before implementing the policy.

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