CAPE TOWN– President Cyril Ramaphosa has reiterated his stance that land reform is pivotal to restoring the dignity of South Africans and the country at large.

Land reform is fundamental to the eradication of poverty. It is fundamental to restoring the dignity of all South Africans, to foster reconciliation and to forge national unity, he said Thursday when replying to points raised during the debate on the Budget Vote for the Presidency at the National Assembly here.

It is for this reason that this government, guided by the resolutions of the 54th National Conference of the governing party, is undertaking measures to accelerate the redistribution of land, the extension of security of tenure, the provision of agricultural support and the redress of spatial inequality.

If poor people cannot own property and live close to the economic centres of our towns and cities, the cost of living will remain as high as the cost of looking for work. That is why we will not relent in our determination to use expropriation without compensation as one of the mechanisms to effect land reform.”

President Ramaphosa said instead of using land grab which is illegal, the country must look to the Constitution, which gives guidance on addressing land expropriation.

In response to questions regarding the the size of his Cabinet, President Ramaphosa said the reconfiguration of the State was not just about cutting down of government departments but rather on using resources efficiently.

The reconfiguration of the State is a far greater and more ambitious undertaking that must go to the heart of the capacity of Government to meet the country’s developmental needs. We need to address issues of structure, not just of national departments, but of all spheres and all public institutions. We also need to address issues of efficiency and resource allocation, said President Ramaphosa.

He also highlighted fruitless, wasteful, irregular and unauthorised expenditure as something which could be addressed readily to improve the efficiency of government.

With the spotlight firmly on ailing municipalities following the release of the Auditor-General’s 2016/17 report on Wednesday, the President said a simplified revenue plan was being implemented to assist these municipalities.

The plan will look to improve revenue management, reduce municipal consumer debt, and enhance municipalities’ revenue collection potential.

In a bid to address the scourge of political killings in KwaZulu-Natal Province, the President announced that he has appointed an Inter-Ministerial Committee comprising the Ministers of Defence, Police, State Security and Justice.

The IMC has begun meeting key stakeholders in the province and is expected to present a comprehensive report by the end of the month on measures to end these killings and to bring those responsible to justice, said the President.

He thanked his staff at the Presidency who assist in ensuring he gets the job done. I wish to conclude by expressing my gratitude to Ministers Dlamini-Zuma and Dlamini, the Director-General in The Presidency, Dr Cassius Lubisi, my Acting Deputy Director-General, MrBusaniNgcaweni, my advisers, staff, secretariat and protectors, said the President.