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May 04, 2008

Zuma re-iterates committment to South African land reform

Jacob Zuma, president of South Africa's ruling ANC party passionately addressed thousands of workers at a May Day celebration, saying that rural development was key to fighting poverty.

"Many of them work long hours for poverty wages. Women...face the burden of poverty more," Zuma said.

He said the African National Congress adopted a resolution...that all its branches would work together with government agencies and civil society to ensure the implementation of laws that protect farm workers and dwellers.

He said the land redistribution programme had not achieved the results initially envisioned.

"We have only succeeded in redistributing four percent of agricultural land since 1994, while more than 80 percent of agricultural land remains in the hands of fewer that 50,000 farmers and agri-businesses. We resolved to redistribute 30 percent of the land by 2014 and to provide subsistence farming and food security, while maintaining a productive agricultural sector."

Zuma said access to land for subsistence farming was critical as people should be able to plough and produce food to combat the impact of increased food prices. He said he had met with some sections of the white farming community and they were supportive of the land reform programme as well as broad-based black economic empowerment.


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