Land: The people speak - 'My white brothers and sisters, don't worry,' man tells hearing
Some speakers at the Swellendam public land hearings tried to allay white people's fears about the expropriation of land without compensation on Friday.
Delegations of Parliament's Joint Constitutional Review Committee has been holding hearings across the country to hear South Africans' views on the amendment of Section 25 of the Constitution to allow expropriation of land without compensation.
At the Swellendam leg on Friday, a man wearing ANC colours said: "My white brothers and sisters, don't worry."
He said before 1994, people said the ANC would chase white people into the sea. This did not happen.
Instead, white people grew richer under an ANC-led government than what they did under apartheid, he pointed out. He also said that a weak rand – a common concern – would strengthen farmers' exports.
"We won't take your homes. What I want is to farm next to you," he said.
The man also said that President Cyril Ramaphosa was a good leader.
John Matthysen, who introduced himself as the first democratic mayor of Swellendam, said he "fully, fully, absolutely fully" supported an amendment of Section 25 of the Constitution.
"Why are some people painting this issue as scary? Why are some people afraid of losing the land?" he asked.
"Why are they painting a picture that they will lose everything? This will never be the case."
Matthysen added that there were farmers who owned five farms in the area.
"And they don't want to lose one! That is ridiculous!"
A traditional leader also spoke at the hearing and said: "The farmers must understand: We're not here to harm you. We're not here to fight, but give us land."
The meeting was the committee's second last public hearing
The final meeting is expected to take place on Saturday at the Friend of God Church, Goodwood in Cape Town's northern suburbs.