Podcast: Land Expropriation & Farm Murders in South Africa

I recently had the honour of being a guest on Rob Schilling’s The Schilling Show. Rob is an award-winning investigative journalist. He was also elected to the Charlottesville City Council, where he did 4 years of public service. He is now host of the show and Schilling Show Blog and News.

Listen to the podcast below, on the WINA’s website or on SoundCloud.

 

The below topics were discussed around minute 21 to 33.

Land Expropriation without Compensation

After the 30th August 2018 deadline we shall find out the outcome of the government’s debate over land expropriation without compensation. The ad hoc Constitutional Review Committee was formed at the end of February 2018 as the EFF’s motion to expropriate land without compensation, supported by the ANC, was adopted. The committee is made up of different political parties and has been looking to review and amend section 25 of the Constitution.

What has been seemingly glossed over is that the constitution already does allow for this: if it is deemed ‘just’ and ‘equitable’ that compensation be set to zero, then this is allowed under the existing property clause. It is unclear what they may amend here.

Government Making Excuses

In short, this entire process appears to be an excuse on the part of the government to placate the disillusioned masses and cover up its failure to deliver on its promises. Specifically, the government’s promise in 1994 that 30% of land would be in black ownership by 2014.

Now the dangerous rhetoric that ‘too much land is still in white hands’, as I’ve heard a member of the public say during the Constitutional Review Committee’s recent roadshow, is gaining momentum and support. The DA, Cope, ACDP and Freedom Front Plus oppose this motion and need the support of the public.

 

The Land Reform Process

Land Reform in the past has been a failure largely because:

  • There have been handover issues and a lack of adequate training.
  • Those who sold their farms to the government for this process often did so because their farms were failing. It takes special expertise to resuscitate a business.
  • If the new farmer does not actually own the land, then it is almost impossible for that person to get funding to develop the land and the business.

Land Reform failures have absolutely nothing to do with the constitution. It also has nothing to do with the government not having money to get the required land, because it does have the money.

 

Farm Murders

According to AfriForum’s study of the government’s crime statistics, there are 2 farm attacks per day and 2 murders per week. We know that the attacks are brutal and violent. We also know that the murders increase when songs such as “Kill the Boer” are sung at political rallies by leaders. For those readers who are not familiar with South African terms: ‘Boer’ refers to the Afrikaans community, a cultural group within the white minority. These songs refer to Afrikaans people. Those killed, raped or robbed on farms are mostly Afrikaans, but do often include labourers and people who are not white or Afrikaans.

It is despicable that these farm murders get so little attention within South Africa and that these people are not afforded security or even acknowledgement by our government. In fact, there appears to be the opposite: a denial that there is an unusual problem at all. Couple all of this with the South African government’s condemnation of the Australian government for considering fast-tracking visas for white South African farmers and the farmers of South Africa are left completely insecure and without much hope, even though there are many who are willing to fight and die for their land.

This tragic situation has been hijacked to become a political race issue. It will now become a food security issue which will affect the entire country. We already have a situation where nobody wants to invest in farms until it is known what will be decided by the government about land expropriation. If we need to import food the prices will inevitably rise and that will be a disaster, especially for the poor people on behalf of which the EFF and the ANC claim to act.

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