CAPE TOWN (Reuters) – President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Tuesday there was no reason to believe that any country would impose sanctions on South Africa over the government’s plans to redistribute land to address racial disparities in ownership.
Ramaphosa announced in late July that the ruling African National Congress (ANC) plans to change the constitution to allow the expropriation of land without compensation, as whites still own the majority of South Africa’s land.
U.S. President Donald Trump waded into South Africa’s high-octane land debate last month when he asked his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to study South African “land and farm seizures” in a late-night tweet.
Some analysts have since speculated that Trump’s government could impose economic sanctions on South Africa to express its disapproval with the ANC’s land reform agenda.
“We have no reason to believe that any country would impose sanctions on South Africa for any actions that we take, actions that are constitutional, that are lawful and consistent with international law,” Ramaphosa said in parliament while answering a question from an opposition party on his government’s land reform plans.
Ramaphosa added that the government was ready to discuss its land reform plans with any country. He repeated that land reform would follow a parliamentary process and that the government would not tolerate “land grabs”.
Reporting by Wendell Roelf; Writing by Alexander Winning; Editing by James Macharia