The impending election in 2019 in South Africa once again gives rise to speculation that the “Land Reform Act,” may be amended.
This Act was part of the “Freedom Charter,” brought in by Nelson Mandela when apartheid ended and the ANC where voted into power in 1994.
Julius Melema the Leader of the right wing Economic Freedom Fighters party ( EFF ) has made it his top priority and is fighting hard for it ( land reform ) to be implemented.
If there is, as proposed, a change to Section 25 of the Land Reform Act, expropriation of land from white farmers could go ahead without the need for compensation. White South Africans see this as the beginning of the end as in the case of Zimbabwe
PRESIDENT RAMAPHOSA IN EUROPE.
In November 2018 the South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa visited, by invitation the European Parliament and gave a speech along side the president of the European Parliament Antonio Tagani.
The haunting question of land reform was raised during a press conference later that day. This issue was virtually the only issue the press wanted to talk about. Europe abhorred the treatment of the white farmers in Zimbabwe and were keen to know if Ramaphosa was going to allow the same actions in the neighbouring country of South Africa.
The South African Presidents response, whilst encouraging, was not the affirmation the European Press had hoped. He told them, “ We will all sit down and find a solution, that is the way we do things in South Africa, but it will be an inclusive solution.”
Dan Krieke the President of AGRI SA made the feeling of the South African farmers clear. He stated that should Sec. 25 of the Land Reform Act be amended it would be challenged through the Courts. He said in a recent interview that, “ such an amendment would be a ruthless and populist act by the South Africa Government.”
In making Land Reform a key issue in the 2019 elections The President has been able to clarify his views. They largely show that his intentions are seemingly benign. He has made the issue around this, “ Festering Sore, “ food security. It is his acclaimed aim to ensure that this becomes the focus not the removal of the white farmers. Pledging in a discussion with AGRI SA that the Land Reform does not threaten Food security nor indeed security of the Country.
The 50:50 schemes proposed a number of years ago, which suggested that land owned by the white farmers should be transferred into a scheme in which the black workers held 50% and the white farmers retained 50%, has fallen by the way side as unworkable.
Ramaphosa has stated that the market place will still play the predominant role in the change of ownership of farms, this will allow for sustained food production security.