The dispossession of the black inhabitants of their land was an apartheid era strategy that began with the colonisation of South Africa. Without land, the oppressed majority were stripped of economic power and, ultimately, self-determination – Africa, their home, didnâ€
1. Returning land, which translates to wealth, back to the dispossessed majority, is an important task because it is one way of addressing the injustices of apartheid. This is why the ANC put the return of South Africaâ€
2. At the 15th anniversary summit of the South African Development Community (SADC), on 13 September 1995, Mandela said â€œWe owe it to all the peoples of the sub-continent to ensure that they see in us, not merely good leaders waxing lyrical about development, but as the front commanders in the blast furnaces of labour, productive investments and visible change.â€
3. At a ceremony on 23 June 1998, in KwaZulu-Natal in which more than 600 000 hectares was handed back to the rightful black owners, Mandela said to at the ceremony: “Our land reform programme helps redress the injustices of apartheid. It fosters national reconciliation and stabilityâ€¦ It also underpins economic growth and improves household welfare and food security.â€
4. At the launch of the KwaZulu-Natal land reform pilot programme, on 26 March 1995, Mandela said: â€œWith freedom and democracy last year, came restoration of the right to land. And with it, the opportunity to address the effects of centuries of dispossession and denial.â€ He added: â€œIt is therefore a matter of great pride for me, to be here to launch this project. At last we can, as a people, look our ancestors in the face and say: Your sacrifices were not in vain. The time has come to correct the wrongs that colonial invasion brought on our communities.
In addressing land hunger, the Government of National Unity is not engaged in a simplistic, punitive and unproductive exercise. We seek a solution that is generally acceptable to all, an approach that eliminates the suspicion, mistrust, and anger that have characterised land disputes over the years.
Furthermore, our land redistribution policy insists on the effective and productive use of land as a resource in a sustainable way.â€
5. In his speech at the 50th anniversary of Indiaâ€