The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) says it is regrettable that the Australian Government did not use the available diplomatic channels to raise concerns or seek clarification on the land redistribution process in South Africa.
This follows reports attributed to Australia’s Home Affairs Minister, Peter Dutton, who said they are exploring how to bring white South African farmers to Australia on humanitarian grounds due to the land redistribution process and the violence on farms, which they say is racially charged.
“We regret that the Australian government chose not to use the available diplomatic channels to raise concerns or seek clarification on the land redistribution process in South Africa.
“Those channels remain open and available for all governments to engage with the South African government,” DIRCO said on Wednesday.
However, the department said it will engage with the Australian government on this matter.
Australia’s comments follow a recent motion passed by Parliament to allow for the expropriation of land without compensation, pursuant to a resolution of the governing African National Congress (ANC).
The resolution established a Constitutional Review Committee to consider all aspects of expropriation without compensation, including the legal and economic aspects thereof.
The resolution of Parliament thus sets forth a process and the Constitutional Review Committee must report back to Parliament by 30 August 2018.
DIRCO reiterated President Cyril Ramaphosa’s comments that the process of land redistribution will be orderly, within South African law and taking into consideration both the social and economic impact.
“The South African government has been very clear and transparent on the land reform process and the matter is now before Parliament. All stakeholders will be consulted and they are also encouraged to engage with Parliament.
“There is no reason for any government anywhere in the world to suspect that any South African is in danger from their own democratically elected government. That threat simply does not exist.”
DIRCO called on organizations such as AfriForum to stop spreading incorrect information to sow panic and fear.