The land reforms in South Africa will not violate the country’s constitution, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Wednesday.
Ramaphosa made the remarks while addressing the European Parliament, saying that the land reform process will be conducted with adherence to human rights.
“This problem of land will be resolved through adherence to the rule of law and adherence to the constitution,” Ramaphosa told lawmakers.
South Africa’s ruling African National Congress aims to change the constitution to allow for land expropriation without compensation to address racial disparities in ownership that persist more than two decades after apartheid’s demise in 1994.
The South African government has in the past been condemned for its plan to expropriate land without compensation.
With threats of consequences, President Ramaphosa in September said no country would impose sanctions on his country over the government’s plans to redistribute land to address racial disparities in ownership.
The land expropriation without compensation campaign has for years been pushed forward by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party, led by fiery leader Julius Malema.
Malema has publicly said the whites stole the land from the black citizens during the colonial era, and that the issue needed to be addressed soon, without burdening the poor black majority.