Addressing the contentious land question has been the central theme of the ANC’s weekend campaign blitz in KwaZulu-Natal, with cooperative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) minister Zweli Mkhize on Sunday moving to allay fears of traditional leaders — at the same time trying to secure their loyalty when it comes time to head to the polls.
The role of Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini and the tribal leaders in administering vast tracts of ancestral land remains under debate.
Moves to dissolve the Ingonyama Trust and cede thousands of hectares of traditional land to the state had raised the hackles of Zwelithini, who earlier this year issued a call to arms to defend the traditional land.
“I want to start with this land issue … we agree that land is a big issue for black people,” said Mkhize on Sunday.
“There is no need to worry about your land because it’s safe. There were conversations recently that made the chiefs think their land will be taken. I want to make it clear that it’s not the case,” he said.