‘Watch this space’: Ramaphosa on land, ANC conflict and state capture

2018-07-17 15:40

President Cyril Ramaphosa joined veteran journalist Jane Dutton on Thursday night, during an exclusive 90-minute interview during her debut show on eNCA, Tonight with Jane Dutton.

In case you missed the interview, here are the five things you need to know.

1) On calls to nationalise the mines by the Economic Freedom Fighters

Julius Malema first called for the nationalisation of mines when he was president of the ANC Youth League in 2009. Back then, he referred to the Freedom Charter, which said that “the mineral wealth beneath the soil, monopoly industries and banks shall be transferred to the ownership of the people as a whole”. Malema went on to say that it would become “ANC policy”.

The EFF leader has since gone on to push the calls for nationalising the mines within his current party.

Last night, President Ramaphosa explained why the ANC was opposed to the idea.

Nationalising mines will take away money that should go towards health and education, and then digs a hole where you never know what you are going to find.

“Mining is a capital-intensive industry. People get together as shareholders. They buy a little shares here and there and then you have the capital. And managers are then able to sink it into a hole. It’s capital that never comes from one entity, because no one is willing to risk so much money to buy it or to dig it into a big hole underground, and that is what these big companies do. They go around the world to raise money, a little here and there. To nationalise the mines would mean now that the state takes on that responsibility. And that then takes away money that should go [towards] health and education, and then digs a hole where you never know what you are going to find,” he said.

2) On land expropriation without compensation

Public hearings began last month into the feasibility of expropriating land without compensation. This came after Parliament adopted a motion for constitutional review in February. More than 140 000 public submissions were received. Ramaphosa said that the ANC rejected the notion of land being completely owned by the state, but that expropriation would happen responsibly.

Security of tenure is what our people are yearning for.

“We completely reject this notion that all land should be owned by the state. It would be an administrative nightmare,” he said.

“What we need to do in terms of the Constitution is to perfect that right that people have. Security of tenure is what our people are yearning for, and we didn’t let the genie out the bottle,” he said. Speaking about the decision made at the ANC conference in December last year, he said that the party decided to expropriate land without compensation because previous approaches had failed.

“So it is ANC policy and we are going to expropriate land – that we decided at our conference,” he said.

Ramaphosa said that the debate should be one that the country should have, “because it enriches the outcome that we are going to have, and that outcome, I believe, is going to be found to be satisfactory all round”.

3) On state capture and corruption

Ramaphosa answered Dutton with a firm yes, when she asked him if he was prepared to bring those who were found guilty of corruption to task.

Those who are complicit in state capture must be accountable

“Yes, the answer is yes. This is based on the mandate that we received from our conference,” he said.

He explained that the conference resolved very clearly to “eradicate and eliminate” corruption in the country. Speaking about the commission into state capture, which was being chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, Ramaphosa said that the hearings which were to take place in August would be delving “into the real belly of what state capture is really about”.

“It is going to reveal a lot of things hopefully and those that are, whether they are in the ANC, those who are complicit in state capture must be accountable,” he said.

4) On the aftermath of Marikana and moving forward

After the tragic events of August 12 2012, in which the lethal use of force and weapons by the South African Police Service resulted in the deaths of 34 mine workers at Lonmin platinum mine in the North West, Ramaphosa spoke of his need to provide closure to the families who were affected by the massacre.

I also want closure.

“As I have said before, I know that people want closure. I also want closure. It’s a matter that I know needs to be addressed,” he said.

The president said that there were discussions surrounding the tragedy, and that once the processes regarding the law suits that have been filed were finalised, he would be visiting Marikana.

“So through all that there has been a process of finalisation, and I’ve thought that it would be best that we clean all of that up so that when finally one goes there, we should have a situation where we are able to effectively put closure to this matter, and put it to bed and heal the wounds,” he said.

5) On the internal politics within the ANC

After being asked about the faith that South Africans have in the president running a stable government under the ANC, Ramaphosa said that the question of unity within the ANC was not a “one-day event”.

“People will be surprised in the end when they see how the ANC leadership and membership find one another and unite,” he said.

We will go into the next elections as a united force.

He spoke about the various ANC conferences that were taking place countrywide, and which were being held on the basis of unity.

“They are also forging unity through making sure that the leadership that is chosen is a leadership that mixes people with different perspectives,” he said.

Ramaphosa went on to say that through the diverse views and diversity of leadership, the best decisions can be taken alongside the wealth of expertise.

“I am confident that the ANC is going to forge unity. We will go into the next elections as a united force, and people will be amazed. Watch this space,” he said.

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May 19 2019