South Africa's "original sin" of black land dispossession would be redressed with land expropriation without compensation as part of the "collective action" required to unite the country, but without damaging the economy, agricultural production or food security. This was President Cyril Ramaphosa at his negotiating best: a nod to everyone's concerns, a call for solution-focused unity of purpose and, ever so subtly, an ultimatum. His response on Tuesday to the parliamentary debate on the State of the Nation Address was a wake-up call for the opposition to up their politicking.
It's difficult to argue with a president who acknowledges anxieties, including those by some opposition parties that white young South Africans are discriminated against, but then hauls out the statistics to show why such views are just plain wrong.
How does an opposition MP argue perceptions when bluntly told, as President Cyril Ramaphosa did on Tuesday, that Statistics South Africa figures show young white South Africans enjoyed a better quality of life from education, health to job prospects. Official statistics showed unemployment among black Africans in South Africa stood at 30%, among white South Africans - just under 7%.
It's less clear-cut on land. Government's own land...