The new US ambassador to South Africa, Lana Marks, says that her government has an active interest in the future of South Africa – including the outcome on land expropriation without compensation.
In an interview with the Daily Maverick, Marks said that the Trump administration is still ‘watching’ the situation of land expropriation without compensation and murders of white farmers.
However, she added that the US was “very pleased that South Africa is dealing with things in a very transparent manner”.
“All murders, farm murders, are senseless, all violence is senseless. Farm murders are less than 1% of the overall murders taking place in South Africa. But they’re all unacceptable.
“It’s a horrible problem which president Ramaphosa and the South African government are doing their utmost to address at this time. To the best of my knowledge there have been no farms confiscated.”
“We’re interested in a very good climate for greatly increasing business between our nations. And South Africa must continue to create this really good climate so we can greatly increase business immediately.”
Trump raised eyebrows in 2018 after he tweeted that the South African government was ‘seizing land from white farmers’.
He subsequently asked his secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, to study the seizure and expropriation of land in South Africa, along with the killing of farmers.
Bill ready by Christmas
In October parliament’s land expropriation committee said it hopes to present its draft bill on 27 November 2019 and have several sessions for deliberations by members of parliament.
Following this, the bill is likely to be published in the government gazette on 10 December 2019, after which a public awareness drive will start.
The official call for public comments is expected to come to an end on 27 January 2020.
“Public participation is a constitutional imperative. We will ensure that there is sufficient public participation,” said committee chairperson Dr Mathole Motshekga.
“We will put the interests of South Africans first and we want to ensure that all South Africans participate.
“The committee wants to give everyone an opportunity to give input, even those who have a different view.
“We will make sure that the interests of all South Africans are put first as it is not just the interest of a section of the public.”