South Africa: Concerns about Agrarian Reform Project

Last week, the South African Parliament adopted a text that provides for the expropriation of land without compensation.

Land is a sensitive subject in this country where agriculture remains largely in the hands of whites, who hold 73% of agricultural land against 85% at the end of apartheid.

The text adopted by a very large majority was introduced by Julius Malema, the leader of the radical party Fighters for Economic Freedom.

In his speech on the state of the nation two weeks ago, the new president Cyril Ramaphosa said that it was necessary to accelerate the redistribution of land to black South Africans and heal the wounds of the past.

On Tuesday, February 27, MPs passed a motion allowing a revision of the Constitution to authorize the expropriation of land without financial compensation.

However, a committee has been appointed and must submit a proposal to amend the law by the end of August.

But the measure worries.

The main agricultural trade union, made up mostly of white farmers, asked for clarification.

In his speech, Ramaphosa nevertheless wanted reassuring. “We will manage this problem in a way that will not harm the economy or food security,” he said.

According to several observers, this reform project adopted by the ANC deputies is above all a political message.

Since the end of apartheid, the ruling party has failed to redistribute land to the black majority.

And at one year of presidential elections, the ANC is under pressure to end racial disparities.

The ruling party is trying to regain an electorate more and those seduced by the radical group of Julius Malema, who launched his campaign for the 2019 elections on Sunday.

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