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South Africa: land reform – the key challenge of our time


Social justice is possible when handled properly

Land has always been a hot topic in South Africa, but a few weeks after President Cyril Ramaphosa took over the highest seat in South Africa, it was back in the limelight. His considerations on expropriation without compensation concern the affected landowners as well as the Economic Freedom Fighters, which occupy open land in various provinces. Add to that the controversial remarks of Australian Interior Minister Peter Dutton, who insists that white South African farmers must escape "dire circumstances" for a "civilized country".

In addition, on the last march of human rights in Cape Town, thousands of Cape Town residents took to the streets to demand adequate housing. The daily reality of millions of South Africans forced to endure below-average human conditions can no longer be ignored. But how can these inequalities be addressed, taking into account the complex dynamics of land reform?

Earlier this month, the Center for Conflict Resolution in Cape Town held a dialogue entitled "The Land Reform in South Africa and Zimbabwe". Three speakers addressed some of the key aspects of this political movement for more than two decades in our democracy. Solli Mapaila, First Deputy Secretary-General of the South African Communist Party, dr. Prosper Matondi, Executive Director of the Ruzivo Trust in Harare, Zimbabwe, and Professor Ben Cousins ​​DST / NRF Chair of Poverty, Agriculture and Agricultural Sciences Faculty of Business Administration and Management Western Cape talked about a topic that many claimed was long overdue.

Cousins ​​argued that, even though there is a "great panic of real estate owners … the panic is unjustified". He said we needed to "rethink" the land issue and make the necessary changes to reduce inequality, especially in agriculture.

Ramaphosa has emphasized that land expropriation is without threat to investment and food security. And cousins ​​said that one of the most important areas to watch out for to keep that promise is the informal economy.

"[The informal economy] is an aspect of our society that is severely neglected and most evident in agriculture. A sector in which small farmers make great contributions but are not recognized," he said, adding that the land reform program was on should have a bigger goal, namely the creation of jobs and the contribution to the economy.

Farmers who produce for informal markets [in South Africa] make a significant contribution to our economy and society, but are not recognized. "

Cousins ​​also argued that more resources were being made available to smallholders, the better because they often do much better work than multinational corporations when it comes to boosting the economy and creating jobs.

On this Says Cousins, a land reform program that collects and sets data in motion, a process of fundamental change and structural reforms could serve as a model for more comprehensive reforms across the South African economy.

He also condemned the controversial Ingonyama Trust, which many believe Promoting land confiscation in KwaZulu Natal Former President Kgalema Motlanthe heads a high-level committee that decided earlier this month to repeal the Ingonyama Trust Act, which essentially means that almost three million hectares of land under the Trust will be redistributed be handed over to the state.

"Decisive is the political will to take land reform seriously, "said Cousins. He stressed that there must be adequate resources for land reform and land redistribution. But it's not just about having deep pockets. Political will also means government departments that can implement politics.

Cousins ​​also referred to the report of the high-level panel on the evaluation of key legislation and accelerating the fundamental change that was published late last year The government should use its powers of expropriation more courageously than to change the constitution ,

In public dialogue, Dr. Prosper Matondi, executive director of the Ruzivo Trust in Harare, Zimbabwe. The Ruzivo Trust is an organization focused on the best practices in terms of land, agriculture and livelihood in Zimbabwe. Matondi warned that land acquisition should not be the main focus of a land reform policy and that people should ask themselves what they would do to the country should they get it.

"They think that if you take the land today, that's the end of the story, but it's just the beginning," said Matondi.

Using the example of the chicken value chain in Zimbabwe, he said that there are now "thousands and thousands" of chicken In Zimbabwe, the market is still controlled by only 12 white farmers from the previous regime.

"We must not forget that at the end of the day, the issues of social justice, equities and ownership of land are fundamental," he said.

Matondi stressed the importance of developing a reform policy that addresses issues such as the definition of land claims, dispute settlement mechanisms and land use planning.

He emphasized the importance of consultation between victims and applicants and the current owners of the country to find solutions together.

"In Zimbabwe we are still struggling with the same question, but there has been significant movement". We have a majority of small farmers.

But the legality of land issues is at the heart of Matondi's research. "Land is about power relations, it's about rights, it's about correcting some of the historical injustices."

Matondi said that South Africa could draw some important lessons from Zimbabwe's land reform. Look at the risks associated with the [land reform] steps you want to take, look at the sensitivities and look at your certainties. [These] is the key to everyone land reform program. " [19659025] The question of compensation is also important and the variables to be considered. "Even with the best assessment methods, it is still very difficult," he said. Dispute settlement mechanisms must also be well prepared. "With the Land Reform Program draft, you must have a mechanism to deal with disputes," he said, adding that the "victims" and the "winners" must find an answer together. Communication is the key.

"Let's talk about it," he said.

Nurene is a media and communications specialist who clenched her teeth at a local radio station at the tender age of 15 as a journalist. Since completing her degree in 2004 at the former Peninsula Technikon (now Cape Peninsula University of Technology), she has worked in mainstream and community newspapers, covering a range of stories from housing and entertainment reports to xenophobic abuses in Cape Town in 2008

She is passionate about community issues and has been a communications consultant to numerous non-governmental organizations in southern Africa. Nurenes life has always been versatile and she always wanted to use her skills as versatile as possible. Her love of poetry, hip-hop and music has taken her to the Cape's underground music scene, where she worked with a number of independent artists.

As a bullying survivor suffering from clinical depression, Nurene also offers motivational talks and advocates for the destigmatization of mental illness. She hopes to share the knowledge entrusted to her with her fellow human beings, especially the future mothers of society, and to create a lasting legacy.

Currently she works as a freelance writer, under-editor, artist profile manager and motivational speaker. [19659031] var FBIsLoaded = false;
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