Thursday, July 19, 2018

Ass-Clowns Jaw Jacking With Civil Race War Pending...,

Newsweek |  The architects of South Africa’s transition to democracy in the 1990s envisioned a much different outcome: The post-apartheid constitution says the government must help citizens get better access to land. The African National Congress, which has been in power since 1994, now wants to transfer 30 percent of the country’s agricultural land from white to black ownership. In addition to buying it from white owners and redistributing to black ones, the ANC runs programs to help people claim territory and firm up the rights of those whose tenure is insecure.

But apartheid’s legacy has been difficult to dislodge, and many think land reform has been a disaster. To date, only 9 percent of commercial farmland has been transferred to black owners through claims and redistribution. The backlog to settle existing claims is 35 years; for new ones, there’s a wait of well over a century. Many large agricultural reform projects have failed; success stories like Msimanga’s are the exception. “You can move as many hectares of land as you want, but if you don’t get them to be productive, then society’s problems will remain,” says Wandile Sihlobo, an agricultural economist for South Africa’s Agricultural Business Chamber.

The slow pace of change has made land one of the most polarizing issues in South Africa today. With national elections looming in 2019, the small but influential Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) opposition group has tapped into popular frustration over the ANC’s failure to address the problem. The party has been pushing the government to seize white-owned property without paying landowners, as former President Robert Mugabe did in Zimbabwe, which borders South Africa to the north. Critics of Mugabe’s policy point to the period of economic collapse that followed: Food production dropped, due in part to a lack of equipment and training, and unemployment soared as thousands of evicted white Zimbabwean employers left the country.

The ANC, whose popularity plummeted under the controversial tenure of former President Jacob Zuma, declared in December it would use “land expropriation without compensation,” as the process is known, to speed up reform. The party promised to do it without compromising the economy, food security or jobs. President Cyril Ramaphosa, who replaced Zuma this year, has repeatedly said the taking of land from the indigenous people was South Africa’s “original sin,” and that its return to its rightful owners will unlock the country’s economic potential.

In February, Parliament overwhelmingly voted in favor of a resolution to pursue the expropriation policy and appointed a committee to investigate whether the constitution needs to be amended to do it. The committee is due to report back on its findings later this year, before the 2019 elections.
Unsurprisingly, the prospect of state-sanctioned land seizures has spooked white landowners in South Africa. Media coverage of “land invasions” has increased across the country, where black South Africans have moved onto unused, privately owned property and claimed the right to live there. 

“Once it becomes a free-for-all, how are you going to stop millions of people from lawlessness?” says Louise Rossouw, former regional chairperson of the Transvaal Agricultural Union of South Africa in Eastern Cape province. “It’s crazy. People are already starting to talk of civil war. ”
The ANC has tried to stamp out fears that South Africa’s economy is going to crash like Zimbabwe’s. It has emphasized that unused land would be targeted first, but party leaders have also doubled down on their original pledge. “For people who think that the issue of land in South Africa will be swept under the carpet, I say, ‘Wake up, my friend,’” Ramaphosa recently said in Parliament. “Our people want the land.”