8 March 2019

South Africa: The Big Debate - Land Reform - Just an Electoral Ruse?

Photo: Ryanj93/Wikimedia Commons
(file photo).

Errol April is an MK veteran who grew up on the Cape Flats. Fruit farming is a long stretch from what he knows: explosives and bombs. But since the government made available 211 hectares of prime agricultural land in the Southern Cape wine region to him in 2013, April has proved his doubters wrong.

"The sentiment that black people can't farm, we should throw that out the window", Errol April says.

More surprising than April's success as an apple and pear farmer is his view on land expropriation. With help from a white Afrikaans mentor, Wilmer Ferreira, and the government's Proactive Land Acquisition Strategy Programme, April turns a modest profit on just under a quarter of his land, selling fruit to demanding European consumers. The rest of his land, he says, he doesn't need.

Or rather, as an activist who fought for the emancipation of the black majority, he believes his land should be shared: "If the land is there, it should be given to the workers, because the Freedom Charter says so," he said.

Doesn't he lay awake worrying about the government coming for his property?

"There should be no reason for me to have sleepless nights about the...

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