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Using the Mugabe model of land reform – which is changing our laws to allow land expropriation without compensation – will in no ways enable “true reconciliation and an expanded economic cake,” as President Zuma claims. Once again Zuma is linking incipient policy and the law-making that follows, to an outcome that can only reside in the land of fantasy. Again, in the Trump-like fashion of ‘alternative facts,’ he links a noble ideal – changing the economic landscape and ensuring that the black majority shares in South Africa’s wealth – to a deeply flawed vehicle for helping achieve it. Global economic analysts and historians have written tomes on the folly of land expropriation while we’ve witnessed with our very own eyes how land invasions have led to an agricultural implosion and economic meltdown in Zimbabwe. Even Deputy Secretary General of the SA Communist Party, Jeremy Cronin, is today talking about the Zuptoid (my word) capture of the ANC by a rampant faction bent on enriching a narrow black elite instead of sticking to the tenets of a once-proud liberation movement. Zuma’s exit strategy this year will be all about populism to keep his Zuptoids on the ramparts of the crumbling castle. There’s no doubt that his Last Hurrah’s this year will land us in far greater social, economic and moral hot water than his predecessor Thabo Mbeki’s AIDS denialism ever did – just hopefully sans the tens of thousands of avoidable deaths. – Chris Bateman
By Liesl Peyper
Cape Town – President Jacob Zuma said 2017 is the year of “taking land back to the people” and for this reason government will seek to change legislation to allow for land expropriation without compensation.
Zuma spoke at the launch of Operation Phakisa on Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development in Pretoria on Friday and said the country needs to take bold steps that will transform South Africa’s economy, including land ownership, swiftly.
“[In order] to achieve all the goals mentioned in the State of the Nation Address government is busy amending all the laws and policies to enable faster land reform, including land expropriation without compensation as provided for in the constitution,” Zuma said.
The president recently sent the Land Expropriation Bill back to Parliament for further consideration, in particular to enable more public participation.
The Land Expropriation Bill was passed by Parliament in May last year – three months before the 2016 local government elections.
In its current form, the bill requires the state to exhaust efforts to purchase property on reasonable terms in the open market before being allowed to consider expropriating it.
The ANC however has in recent months hardened its stance on economic transformation, calling for de-racialising over-concentrated sectors of the economy and transferring ownership from white people to the black majority among other matters. At its annual birthday celebrations, the ANC said the economy will be overhauled radically to allow for meaningful black participation.
President Zuma launches the Operation Phakisa on Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development pic.twitter.com/AwYuJppPHY
— PresidencyZA (@PresidencyZA) February 24, 2017
A month later, during his State of the Nation Address, Zuma repeated calls for radical economic transformation, saying government will enforce broader economic participation through new legislation to counter economic concentration in white hands.
Zuma said on Friday South Africa must move beyond “business as usual”.
“We must seek new ways of doing things which will change the economic landscape in our country and ensure that the black majority shares in the wealth. Only then can we have true reconciliation and an expanded economic cake.” – Fin24
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