6 March 2018

South Africa: The Real Land Debates Parliament Is Too Scared to Have


In the emotive discussion about skewed patterns of land ownership and whether expropriation without compensation is the answer, too much time is spent talking about matters which are not in serious dispute. And it is muddying the waters.

Democratic Alliance (DA) Shadow Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, Thomas Walters, has long indicated that expropriation without compensation (EWC) is a diversion tactic. As the DA is reviewing its own land reform policy, and no doubt other parties are doing the same, it is important to lay out clearly which matters are in dispute and which are not.

Matters which are not in dispute

The skewed patterns of land ownership in South Africa must be addressed.

None, let alone the DA, have argued that the present distribution of ownership is acceptable. In parliament DA Deputy Shadow Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform Thandeka Mbambana passionately argued that there was an indisputable need to right the wrongs of the past.

Land reform policy as implemented by the ANC since 1994 has been a failure.

The failure of land reform has been highlighted in detail, most compellingly in the report drafted by the High Level Panel (HLP).

These two reasons:


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