Land reform key to address past imbalances

Deputy President David Mabuza says government will use economic interventions such as the unfolding land reform programme, to achieve true social cohesion.

The Deputy President said this when he fielded oral questions in the National Assembly on Thursday.

He was responding to a question from an MP on what programmes government was implementing, as the country and the world, to celebrate the centenary of former President Nelson Mandela, to build on his legacy in pursuit of social cohesion and nation building.

Mabuza said in many respects, the soul of the nation remains broken along two parallels - the rich and the poor.

He said as much as South Africa has made great strides since 1994, it is still far from attaining the South Africa of Madiba's dream.

That is why we have taken the route of addressing these imbalances through, among others, the unfolding process of land reform.

We will do this process through the prescripts of the Constitution and the law. South Africans have demonstrated their resilience and ability to confront and resolve national challenges through dialogue.

This is Madiba's virtue and this is our virtue too. And this is our contribution to the world because this position will remain a beacon of democratic governance in Africa, he said.

He said this following a Parliamentary process that has seen public hearings being held across the country on the proposed expropriation of land without compensation.

Speaking on Thursday, Mabuza said that government is proud of the contribution that the former President Nelson Mandela made in the country in the fight against apartheid to a democratic society that everyone is enjoying today.

Pursuing social cohesion by addressing inequality, poverty

Mabuza said, meanwhile, that a capitalist economic system consists of an inherent contradiction that perpetuates not only the income gap among the people, but also breeds the unwanted social frictions.

To achieve a just and equal society requires us to confront these prevailing contradictions in our instance as a country. They manifest themselves in racially skewed socio-economic patterns.

For as long as these contradictions exist, attaining a just and equal society will continue to be elusive and difficult to achieve, he said.

He said this calls on all South Africans to emulate the values of Madiba, as Mandela has become affectionately known, and of struggle stalwart Albertina Sisulu.

These values are underpinned by selflessness, courage and compassion for the poor. This would be a continuation of their vision to build a united a cohesive society, the Deputy President said.

He said without this, it would be difficult to address the current prices of poverty, unemployment and inequality that continue to polarise society.

A cohesive society must be able to balance all contradictions in a mutually reinforcing manner and work towards reducing, if not eliminating, all the inequalities in society.

Therefore, to achieve a truly cohesive society, we must be ready to balance all these socio-economic conditions, he said.

Source: South African Government News Agency

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