PRESIDENT Thabo Mbeki has dismissed speculation South Africa might follow Zimbabwe’s example in dealing with land reform.
Replying to questions in the National As
sembly yesterday, Mbeki said the government was committed to respect the Constitution regarding its approach to land reform, restitution and redistribution.
Speeding up the process of land redistribution was a fundamental part of government’s policy. Therefore, the “blockages” holding up faster forward movement in this regard had to be looked at and removed.
“One of them is affordability; the provision of resources to make sure that we acquire this land (for redistribution).
“We say, expropriation is provided for in the Constitution, but the Constitution also provides that there must be fair compensation. So, you need those resources even when you expropriate.
“Here we have got the challenge of the land question in Zimbabwe.”And as we look at what we have to do, naturally as part of answering the challenges that we face, we look at all examples, including the Zimbabwe example.
“Now to look at the Zimbabwe example is not to say we are therefore going to copy what is happening in Zimbabwe.”But to look at the Zimbabwe question may very well be to say, if things went wrong (there), there’s no reason why we should repeat them because we’ve got that prior experience.
“So… well, I’m sure all of us are accustomed to scarecrows that are raised every day. This was one of them,” Mbeki said. – Sapa.