Sona wrap: Zuma drops bomb on land ownership

Sona wrap: Zuma drops bomb on land ownership

2015-02-13 07:44

PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma has acknowledged that South Africa is facing economic challenges, but put the blame largely on "a difficult economic climate" globally.

The president shocked the nation by announcing that foreigners in future would "not be able to own land" and would be forced to lease properties. He did not spell out what would happen to existing foreign-owned land, but said local farmers' land would also be restricted to 12 000 hectares.

READ: Foreigners won't be allowed to own SA land

This would be regulated by the regulation of land holdings bill, which would go to parliament this year.

It is no secret that Sir Richard Branson owns 13 500 hectares on the border of the Kruger National Park - the Ulusaba game reserve - and the Getty family has interests in the Phinda private game reserve in Kwazulu-Natal. Various multinational companies, some of them listed abroad, have vast mining and agricultural interests too.

Another controversial area touched on by Zuma was that South Africa is committed to expanding its nuclear power supply with the help of foreign powers. The first mini nuclear power plant, of a planned six, would be up and running by 2023 when Eskom retired some of its ageing plants.

While he made no reference to the fluctuation of the rand - which this week reached the lows of 2012 against the dollar - or of corruption and to the scandal over his Nkandla home, Zuma referred instead to the "global economic growth" forecast being revised down to 3.5%.

'Pay back the money' calls ignored

Zuma also did not refer in any way to calls by MPs of the Economic Freedom Fighters "to pay back the money" for Nkandla, the R250m compound built for his retirement. He also did not make any mention of the removal of EFF MPs from the national assembly shortly after he began his State of the Nation speech.

The fall of the rand has been ascribed by analysts to fiscal uncertainties - with higher-than-forecast budget and trade deficits expected in Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene's February 25 budget, perceived state corruption and South Africa's energy troubles causing the power monopoly Eskom to impose load shedding of late, for the first time since 2008.

On the domestic economy, he said: "Our ambition of achieving a growth target of 5% by 2019 is at risk, because of the slow global growth... as well as domestic constraints," noting that these constraints are in energy, skills, transport and logistics.

While the national development plan was the highlight of the last State of the Nation speech, there was only a passing reference to it in Thursday night's speech.

While the prohibition on foreign-owned land and the capping of farm land had been proposed at a recent African National Congress national executive committee meeting, it was expected that the prohibition proposal would be watered down. The proposals still have to pass parliamentary legislative muster, however.

Acknowledging energy challenges, Zuma said the "war room" established by the cabinet in December is working "diligently around the clock with Eskom to stabilise the electricity supply system and contain load shedding".

Zuma's speech  - which was an hour late after EFF MPs were removed by security staff and DA MPs walked out - reported that R23bn would be directed at Eskom to solve its financial problems in the next fiscal year.

READ: Zuma: Eskom government's top priority, to get R23bn

"The country is experiencing serious energy constraints.... it (load shedding) is an impediment to economic growth. It is a major inconvenience to everyone in the country."

Government is directing Eskom to convert diesel-powered plants to gas. South Africa would be looking to procuring gas from its neighbouring countries. "Given the high cost of diesel, Eskom has been directed to switch from diesel to gas as a source of energy for the utility's generators." Zuma referred to tapping into shale gas supplies in the Karoo in the longer term.

On the bright side, he said that three new power stations - Kusile, Medupi and Ingula - would add 10 000 MW to the national grid in time. Already 1 000 MW is being procured from independent power producers "using renewable sources".

The first three bid windows of the renewable energy procurement process has attracted more than R140bn from private investors, he reported.

READ: First new nuclear plant scheduled for 2023

The government would be also be forging ahead with the procurement of 9 600 MW in nuclear power. Government has signed inter-governmental agreements with five countries - the United States, South Korea, Russia, France and China - on nuclear power. They would bid in a fair and competitive process to be a "strategic partner" in South Africa's nuclear build programme.

Significantly, Zuma said South Africa would be looking to draw 15 000 MW of power from the Democratic Republic of the Congo's hydro-power scheme - nearly twice the power to be drawn from nuclear power in the long term.

Zuma believed that the labour market is looking better than other economic figures. This week's Statistics SA report showed that 15.3 million people are employed in South Africa. "Our investment in youth employment is paying off. The Employment Tax Incentive which was introduced last year directed mainly at the youth, is progressing well."

However, in a move that is likely to encounter opposition from employers, Zuma said legislation was proposed that would regulate the practices of labour agencies and temporary employment services - to stop "abuse" of "unsuspecting" work seekers.

  • Luke Boshier - 2015-02-13 07:48

    blame blame blah blah, nothing new here, move along

      Yin Yang - 2015-02-13 08:08

      Zuma and mafia doesn't know how to run and lead a country, but he sure knows how to a true dictator, feeding false information to the illiterate manipulating them and controlling their daily lives... Democracy is dead!

      Jaapie Bopape - 2015-02-13 08:23

      Responsibility: your ability to respond. Where are the plans to stimulate the economy?

      John Smith078 - 2015-02-13 08:24

      It is NEVER the ANC's incompetence. It is always somebody elses fault like apartheid or Van Riebeeck or "Global woes". But NEVER their own incompetence.

      NickvanGraan - 2015-02-13 08:27

      Zuma still thinks its clever politics to completely deny his own administrations shortcomings and continually blame outside factors for this countries woes (a trend we are used to seeing in Africa). It might work with the voting sheep (I suppose that is the point)but those who run the economy and pay the lions share of taxes know better.

      Made Inthe South - 2015-02-13 08:30

      Blame anything but the ZANC communist policies and the R700 Billion lost through corruption

      Gavin Harrison - 2015-02-13 08:41

      And apartheid...don't forget apartheid!

      Gavin Harrison - 2015-02-13 08:41

      And Jan van Riebeeck...don't forget old Jan!

      Gavin Harrison - 2015-02-13 08:43

      And blah blah blah whatever you can think of except that YOU are a corrupt useless moron with no morals...a dancing, giggling, sex crazed buffoon!

      Eric Southland - 2015-02-13 09:01

      Blame every one else except the real problem. You and the cadres.

      Yob Vas - 2015-02-13 09:48

      EVERYTHING is to blame, except the ANC, who have been stealing from SA since they took office. ZUMA is a dictator, you can expect more laws that protect him and the ANC and drown our democracy this is why Zuma has been allying himself with the Chinese and the Russians. it is ironic that the EFF wear red - the color of communism the light at the end of the tunnel - has been redeployed to nkandla.

  • Rob - 2015-02-13 07:56

    Blame everyone else except yourselves. The rest of Africa and the word are laughing at you.

      Johan Arno Cilliers - 2015-02-14 02:48

      Make no mistake,this thing is a TOTAL moron..But just imagine how stupid the people must be who keep voting IT into power.

  • Lauren Penrose - 2015-02-13 07:57

    Sorry Zuma but not long ago you were blaming the whites and Jan Van Riebeeck, so which one is it now?

      danie.dewaal - 2015-02-13 08:39

      It is EVERYONE but Zuma

      Chrono Man - 2015-02-13 08:42

      Last night we saw the state of the nation.

  • bruce.hall.50115 - 2015-02-13 07:58

    Always someone else's fault not our useless government. The three new power stations will come on line "in time". Two of them should have been on line already, but because of the ANS's union friends they are years behind schedule.

  • Bertus Pretorius - 2015-02-13 07:58

    Ignoramus! Your party caused this crisis in ESKOM. Your party "lost" R700BILLION and counting in taxpayer money.

  • Brendon Nel - 2015-02-13 07:58

    Whaaaat??? He isnt blaming apartheid???

      Nikki Downes - 2015-02-13 08:13

      Nope. But his is blaming the west for it. Almost the same people again

  • Brendon Nel - 2015-02-13 07:59

    Whaaaat??? He isnt blaming apartheid???

  • Christian Evans - 2015-02-13 08:00

    Global woes!!!That is rich, the other day you blamed Jan Van Riebeek, you tw@t!!!!!!!!!!!!

      John Butler - 2015-02-13 08:13

      Jan must be responsible for the global woes too

  • Joe Irwin - 2015-02-13 08:02

    He only recites what is prepared for him. This man is nothing more than a highly paid spokesperson, the real power lies elsewhere.

      Genet Joobs - 2015-02-13 13:30

      Joe you are absolutely correct.

  • Craig De Villiers - 2015-02-13 08:03

    Promise everything, deliver nothing, blame someone else !

      Barry Venter - 2015-02-13 17:05


  • Howsit Bru - 2015-02-13 08:03

    Does this mean any foreign national in SA must sell their house or land?? Wouldn't that plough the housing market into the bin? Or is it just farming land this moron is talking about?

  • Spencer Joyce - 2015-02-13 08:12

    Zim here we come, brother Bob must be proud of u JZ. U doing a great job of taking a great country and destroying it for the future south africans. ANC takres no accountability for anything snd blames everything else again. You and your cronies will suck SA dry and when there is nothing left it will be eveybody elses fault!

  • Mark Schulz - 2015-02-13 08:14

    The real problem is that foreigners own land and give their employees economic independence from the ANC regime. Make no mistake, the ANC wants to totally dominate each and every person in South Africa. It will do this by using the same tactics of Apartheid - destroy educational and employment opportunities, and reduce the populace to total economic dependency on the ANC. Hey, it's worked well in Zimbabwe and North Korea!

  • John Volsteedt - 2015-02-13 08:19

    So Mr President, all the more reason for your government to promote and support an environment that is conducive to investment, sustainable job creation and real competitiveness. Stop blaming everything and everyone besides yourselves, respect the constitution, stop the incessant politicking and showcasing, make sure government institutions do what they are meant to, and work WITH business to stimulate growth.

  • Erns Kleynhans - 2015-02-13 08:20

    A poor leader that blames everyone and everything else for his failures, instead of taking responsibility and owe up to his mistakes.

  • Bertus Pretorius - 2015-02-13 08:22

    And the uneducated and ignorant majority voter has no idea what is happening, just as long more promises and big numbers are thrown around. The majority voter doesn't know the impact the cellphone jamming had on the freedom of the press. And the fact that guns and the police force were brought into parliament? No cooking idea what that means for the separation of powers. The promise of land also. When you now have your hectares of prime land, what will you be doing with it? Open a multi million dollar factory to contribute to the economic growth? Start agricultural ventures to put fruits and vegetables on ships to be exported? Sure. That worked out well for Zimbabwe, didn't it. And should you think these lot will deal with their farms any different than those in Zimbabwe, good luck.

  • Trevor Martin - 2015-02-13 08:25

    He is blaming global ecconomy but want nothing to do with the west

  • Marius Grobler - 2015-02-13 08:27

    Nothing will let him change his corrupt ways.

  • Mike 881 - 2015-02-13 08:30

    The cretin does still not get it that zanc is directly responsible for the current economic woes that SA is in. What a ignorant baffoon!

  • Bobby Muller - 2015-02-13 08:31

    Global economy ? Does this mean KFC, Cucci, BMW, Coca Cola, Samsung, puma, Digital Television etc etc.. Kinda cool that Jan van Riebeek came and brought all these nice things mmmm?

  • Chris Green - 2015-02-13 08:33

    So Eskimo is not to blame for our poor economy nor our politicians with bad management skills nor No1 where the buck stops. How about someone taking responsibility for their actions

  • Roger Jenkins - 2015-02-13 08:35

    "but put the blame largely on "a difficult economic climate" globally." And that's it. Its NEVER his fault. Other countries make a go of it, but not SA. Hand out, begging bowl mentality.

      Kyle van der Merwe - 2015-02-13 08:52

      the worst is it will never ever stop...its the african mentality

  • danie.dewaal - 2015-02-13 08:38

    It's all the fault of Jan van Riebeeck

  • Cindy Singh - 2015-02-13 08:39

    useless excuse for a human being...f^&ktard

  • Prudence @Pru2014 - 2015-02-13 08:46

    Democracy is a form of government that substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few.

      Kyle van der Merwe - 2015-02-13 08:52

      and never underestimate the collective power of a bunch of morons

  • Abizou Walkeen - 2015-02-13 08:49

    Yes kick out these g****mned foreigners we don't want their investments!

      Avron Chernotsky - 2015-02-13 09:30

      Think this through. Anyone should be able to own land. It is not as if one can buy the land, load it up and move it to some other country! Foreigners owning land here bring their money, expertise and employment opportunities here with them and all the benefits it has on our economy.

      Deon Louw - 2015-02-13 09:54

      Some mines and other businesses are owned by overseas companies, kick them out and many thousands will be without a job. I don't see the unions bying mines.

      Abizou Walkeen - 2015-02-13 09:57

      I was being sarcastic -_-

  • Kyle van der Merwe - 2015-02-13 08:50

    Once again its not his policies, eskom, corruption, destruction of the rail and road systems etc etc etc its everybody else especially the west....they are to blame

  • Justin Pretorius - 2015-02-13 08:51

    Nothing new from Zumbo

  • arthur.salvado - 2015-02-13 08:52

    Mr president, I respectfully ask you to consider resigning and then ...... doing it very soon

  • Mark Crozier - 2015-02-13 08:55

    Please make a note of when he said that nuclear plant would be up and running by. 2023 was it? Let's see if that happens on time. Place your bets!!

  • Avi Niselow - 2015-02-13 08:56

    What about the properties owned by the Gupta's?

      Deon Louw - 2015-02-13 09:54

      Don't forget the Chinese too.

  • Gerhard Steenkamp - 2015-02-13 08:57

    We'll I suppose Richard Branson drank his Immodium last night (stops diarrhea fast)

  • Erichsen Welgemoed - 2015-02-13 09:05

    Blame jan

  • Japie Mostert - 2015-02-13 09:23

    What about relaxing the BBBEE a bit???

  • carl.brune - 2015-02-13 09:33

    No, sorry you are wrong Zuma. It is all Jan van Riebeeck 'n fault and apartheid.

  • Joe Buck - 2015-02-13 09:37

    I am far better off in Zimbabwe and the rest of Africa. The writing is on the wall.

      Aaron Aden - 2015-02-13 11:38

      All Educated South Africans needs to get their butts out of this place - there are far better places out there that the will appreciated you a lot more than South Africa - hardworking people or job creators are for some reason scorned here but locals - they clearly want to live in a bush with no job so let them destroy everything in peace. Canada here I come whoohoo :)

      Fred Smith - 2015-02-13 14:17

      My family have already disinvested and sold their skills elsewhere, so I guess its time for me to get off my behind and make some proactive plans too.

  • Whiz Bang - 2015-02-13 09:50

    This head Sooty wants to blame anyone or anything but his own outdated and corrupt ideology. It wasn't me, I didn't do it, I wasn't there, it was JVR. Etc etc.

  • James N Catherine Coackley - 2015-02-13 10:06

    This guy certainly dives and dodges very well. Now he blames the "global economic climate"...again for South Africa's woes. When you add the chain of Apartheid around our necks as well as the unfluence of that Dutch guy who had the misfortune of docking his ships here back in the 1600's he's the cleanest guy in the dorp.

  • martin.macphail.92 - 2015-02-13 10:52

    Populist rubbish put forward for diversion and headlines only.

  • Lynda Tyrer - 2015-02-13 11:00

    Blame everything else but the real reason.

  • Lynda Tyrer - 2015-02-13 11:01

    Out of interest this city the chinese are building in Gauteng , they can no longer own it I assume ?

  • Bryan Coulter - 2015-02-13 11:38

    Rubbish...the only head wind he faces is his own hot air. The country is in crisis because the ANC have borrowed too much money and nothing to show for it except huge homesteads, fast cars and designer clothing.

  • James Herbst - 2015-02-13 12:51

    Fat vermin racist rapist!

  • Herman Booysen - 2015-02-13 13:59

    Ag please as if you will know !

  • Fred Smith - 2015-02-13 14:12

    So I guess the likes of Walmart and Barclays will so have to dump their investments and move out along with many of us small guys unwilling to invest in this new investor unfriendly South Africa.

  • Seati Moloi - 2015-02-13 14:24

    Whose land is it any way?

  • Christopher Mark V Lowe - 2015-02-13 14:37

    Zuma: Why say: "Job creation and the eradication of corruption and poverty will be my and my government's sole and number one priority" when you can rather say: "Foreign nationals will not be allowed to own land in South Africa" Jesus wept. For starters how are you going to deal with just the thousands of foreign owned properties along the Atlantic Seaboard and the wine farms in the Stellenbosch and Franschoek mountains? Confiscate them? Invade them? Hand out SA passports to all the foreign owners? We really are broken, aren't we?

  • jaco.venter.589 - 2015-02-13 18:05

    Not worth to be called president. Fat round cross eyed turtle !

  • Johan Diedericks - 2015-02-13 18:06

    Watch it.. he has not done stealing!

  • June Fletcher - 2015-02-13 21:38

    Do the Guptas know their property will be taken away?

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