Ramaphosa deserves support on land restitution issue

By Alec Hogg

I’ve spent plenty time on podiums lately, sharing upbeat views on what a Ramaphosa presidency means for South Africa. The post-talk engagements showed most audiences were uplifted. But they also shared their fears around SA’s new hot topic of conversation: land expropriation without compensation.

Despite the instant pundits, there really are no easy solutions. The wounds of Sophiatown, District Six and dispossessed farmers may be old, but they run deep. On the other hand, food security and rule of law is also important. Fortunately, South Africa’s new president is embracing the complexity of this emotive issue.

You have to love what Ramaphosa said about it in Parliament yesterday: “We are going to handle this matter in the way we’ve always handled difficult issues in our country: by dialogue, discussion, engagement, until we find good solutions that will take our country forward.”

So enough already with those scare mongering emails. Ramaphosa has reminded us that South Africa has talked it way through much bigger challenges. He deserves the opportunity to try the same approach again.