Promoting his plan to boost land redistribution in March, Ramaphosa sought to assure white citizens, who constitute roughly nine percent of the total population, that the government would handle the controversial matter through “dialog, discussion, engagement, until we find good solutions that take our country forward.”
“There is no reason for anyone of us to panic and start beating war drums,” he said at the time, noting that nothing should prevent farming activities from continuing as normal.
However, many of the Boers, descendants of Dutch settlers in South Africa, do not take the government’s promises at face value, instead seeking asylum abroad from what they say is a surge in violence and government-fueled hostility against them.
Last month, a call from Australian Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton to provide emergency visas for South Africa’s white farmers, who are reportedly facing persecution at home, sparked a diplomatic scandal, with the head of the South African opposition labeling Australia “a racist country” for granting refuge to white farmers both in the Mandela era and now.
Boers have also appealed to Russia, seeking to resettle farmers who no longer feel at home in South Africa. A delegation consisting of some 30 South African farming families arrived in Russia’s farm belt Stavropol Region last month, asking the local authorities to consider resettling up to 15,000 Boers.
The region’s Deputy Commissioner for Human Rights Vladimir Poluboyarenko told RT earlier there is a plan in place to resettle up to 50 Boer families and potentially some 500, who would arrive to Stavropol with their own cattle.