PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma has told traditional leaders that dispossession of community land is the source of poverty and inequality.
The president was speaking at the opening of the House of Traditional Leaders in Cape Town yesterday.
Zuma has urged traditional leaders to intensify their joint efforts to claim back community land, instead of lodging competing claims on behalf of communities.
Said Zuma: “I strongly believe that access to land and security of possession of land are key to development, especially agricultural development
“Land reform lies at the centre of government’s efforts to bring about inclusive economic development. It is at the centre of the National Development Plan.”
The president went on to urge the leaders to actively and thoughtfully take part in the issue of land reform for their communities.
“We can talk about agriculture and food security but without access to land, our people cannot plough and feed themselves, nor contribute to economic growth,” said
The president said he had noted with concern that some of the productive communal land under traditional councils was not being used properly.
He promised that the government will work hard to remove the obstacles to investment.
“Our people need jobs. And it is important for us to do everything we can to create the right environment for job creation,” he said.
The president has urged traditional leaders to join the campaign against racism in their areas.
He called on them to take part in the national day against racism on 21 March in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.