Land reform takes center stage in South Africa
LAND reform has been a topical issue in African. In every election in Africa land reform takes a centre stage.
Zimbabwe is one if not the only African country which redistributed its land in a way which traumatised many whites, as it was done forcefully.
South Africa’s opposition Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema recently said Zimbabwe’s land reform is a model system for Africa as it empowered people to own property. SA media quoted Malema, who is championing a radical cause for the nationalisation of mines and land expropriation without compensation, effusive in praise of the Zimbabwean system.
He said: “There’s no system that has worked successfully for Africans, except the Zimbabwean system. Zimbabweans today can be hungry and poor, but at least they own property. You are eating pap and vleis here in South Africa, (but) you have nothing to show as proof that you belong to South Africa.”
He said whites should not be compensated for the land they will lose because the stalled land reform since the end of apartheid in 1994 should be regarded as 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 (white people) enough,” he said. This is not the first time that Malema, ex-president of the ANC Youth League, has urged South Africans to take a leaf from Zimbabwe.
Addressing the media last year at the launch of his party in Johannesburg’s Constitution Hill, he told South Africans to brace for a painful revolution, as happened in Zimbabwe with white capitalists punishing the country if it dared redress the land question.
“There will be a time when you will wake up without bread and that will be the day you will know how to make to your own bread at home and you will realise that you do not need these people,” he said.
South Africa is saddled with the land question as the minority white population continues to hold on to land at the expense of the black majority. A willing buyer-willing seller model of land reform has not been able to address the skewed land ownership.
Whites in Africa with the help of America and EU tend to protect their land in the name of human rights where they claim they have right to own property like the black majority. However, the willing buyer willing seller has proved to be useless therefore Africans should device their own means of taking back their land.
In South Africa, the black majority is suffering they have no shelter and food but their brothers and sisters fought and some died for land which whites still own. Malema is justifies when he calls for a radical approach because taking the land in democratic way has failed.