British Prime Minister Theresa May says the United Kingdom has for some time supported land reform in South Africa – as it is a process carried out in a legal, transparent and democratic manner.
This comes after US President Donald Trump last week, reportedly after watching a Fox News segment detailing Pretoria’s plan to change the constitution to speed up expropriation of land without compensation to redress racial imbalances in land ownership, tweeted that he had asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to “closely study” the situation.
Prime Minister May said this in response to a question by the SABC at a business forum event in Cape Town ahead of meeting with President Cyril Ramaphosa at the Presidential headquarter’s in Tuynhuys on Tuesday.
“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,” Prime Minister May said.
She went on to say that SA’s land reform programme is “…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”.
The Prime Minister said that during those discussions, President Ramaphosa has further briefed her about South Africa’s approach to the talks, which she welcomed. She reportedly went on to say that the support was on condition that there will be no land grabs during the process.
Her remarks come after International Relations Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said at a media briefing on Monday that the department had decided not to sit back and allow lobby groups to go around the world spreading false information about SA’s land reform.
“We indicated to the charge de afire that what they had reported was unfortunate and it was based on information that was not verified,” she said during the media briefing, adding that she wished they had contacted South Africa first to clarify the information.