The government wants to promote the sensitive issue of land. When he came to power, President Cyril Ramaphosa had promised to speed up their redistribution to combat the inequalities inherited from apartheid. The hearings were delayed, but the government has finally detailed its future law on Sunday 11 October, which will soon be submitted to Parliament. It focuses on the issue of expropriation, the most controversial measure.
as reported from Johannesburg,
It is above all the question of compensation after these expropriations that crystallizes the debates. Because everyone remembers the experience of neighboring Zimbabwe: in the 2000s, a poorly governed land reform under Robert Mugabe proved to be a disaster for the country’s economy.
The Minister of Public Works, Patricia de Lille, would therefore be very reassured about this new South African law, which she hopes will will reassure investors. If the text opens up the possibility of an expropriation without compensation, it is not a question of “a miracle cure”, as she specified. And the measure can only be applied in case of abandonment of land, speculation or if there is a health risk. Finally, the final decision rests with the courts.
It is therefore a much more moderate version than what was demanded by the EFF (Fighters for Economic Freedom), the radical left party pushing for a nationalization of land.
To see if the rest of Cyril Ramaphosa’s agricultural program will be able to do better than the reforms of the 1990s: for now, a quarter of a century after the end of apartheid, almost three quarters of the country remain in the hands of white society , representing less than 10% of the population.