SA sits on explosive land ownership time bomb
by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG – SOUTH Africa’s long unresolved land question is proving a ticking time bomb with calls intensifying to address the imbalances.
Calls by the opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) are increasingly gaining support with the landless majority black community, whose youths cannot find jobs in the country.
EFF Commander-In-Chief, Julius Malema, insisted that white people held on to land for 20 years after democracy, which he insisted was compensation enough.
“The 20 years of not taking the land should have been regarded as compensation because the land should have been taken in 1994. So we have compensated them enough,” Malema said.
However, the white farming community, widely condemned EFF’s call for land expropriation without compensation saying majority of them would lose their livelihoods.
Last week, members of Agri-sector Unity Forum (ASUF), a group of white farmers’ special committee on land reform met in Pretoria to discuss the proposals that organised agriculture would like to table to resolve the
land reform issue in a “responsible and sustainable” manner.
ASUF Chairman, Japie Grobler, said his group would put together a proposal on how to deal with the Land Question by March next year.
“All the members of ASUF agree that there are positive proposals in the National Development plan and that those aspects will be used as a basis to develop a plan for agriculture that will maintain food security and support new farmers to the industry,” Grobler said.
He said ASUF members agreed to commence with an intensive process to put detailed proposals together and have it ready by March to be presented to Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, Gugile Nkwinti.
Grobler said ASUF members agreed to use the experiences from other countries, pilot projects introduced by the National Planning Commission, as well as individual farmers that have implemented all kinds of projects.
“What we have learned so far is that there is not a one-size-fits-all blue print for land reform,” Grobler said.
The ruling African National Congress has also acknowledged that the “willing-buyer, willing-seller” concept did not work as the whites mostly kept on “shifting goalposts” to retain the land.
– CAJ News
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