South Africa’s Ramaphosa says he won’t allow illegal land grabs

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa speaks in parliament in Cape Town, South Africa, February 20, 2018. REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday said that he will not allow illegal land grabs after law makers backed plans for land expropriation without compensation last month.

“We cannot have a situation where we allow land grabs, because that is anarchy,” Ramaphosa said in a speech in parliament. “We cannot have a situation of anarchy when we have proper constitutional means through which we can work to give land to our people.” Reuters reports.

Land remains an emotional issue in South Africa with most of it still remaining in the hands of white people who are the minority, despite government’s efforts aimed at redistribution to cut down on racial disparities.

South Africa took a step to hasten the transfer of land from white to black owners when parliament backed a motion seeking to change the constitution to allow land expropriation without compensation.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said after his inauguration that he would speed up the transfer of land to black people although he stressed that food production and security must be preserved.