Britain supports South Africa’s land reform programme – provided it is carried out legally, according to prime minister Theresa May, who is currently in the country as part of a one-day working visit.
Speaking at the ID Mkhize Secondary School in Gugulethu in Cape Town on Tuesday (28 August), May added that she would further discuss the issue with President Cyril Ramaphosa, reports Reuters.
“The UK has for some time now supported land reform. Land reform that is legal, that is transparent, that is generated through a democratic process,” May told reporters.
“It’s an issue that I raised and discussed with President Ramaphosa when he was in London earlier this year. I’ll be talking about it with him later today,” she said.
May’s response on South Africa’s land issue follows a tumultuous week after US president Donald Trump posted a note on Twitter, early on Thursday morning, alleging the South African government was “seizing land from white farmers”.
Trump added that he had asked his secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, to study the seizure and expropriation of land in South Africa, along with the killing of farmers.
American think-tank, the Cato Institute, also published a warning of the possible effects that expropriating privately-owned farmland may have on the country.
In the post published on Monday (20 August), the institute’s Marian L. Tupy said that eighteen years ago Zimbabwe embraced a similar policy.
“As a consequence, South Africa’s northern neighbor’s economy collapsed and the country descended into penury and political violence,” Tupy said.