Jobs, not land, needed to address poverty
LAND in our country is a highly emotional issue currently being exploited by various politicians for their own narrow political ends with scant regard for the real, major problem.
Poverty is far and away the major problem and this is directly linked to the high unemployment rate, which means some 9.3 million people are without jobs.
Politicians, including those of the ANC and EFF, would have us believe that seizing and distributing the land would somehow miraculously solve the poverty problem.
There is, indeed, a desperate need for housing land, especially in the urban areas. There is also a need to have a more balanced demographic distribution of land.
However, when it comes to poverty relief, the figures just do not stack up.
The total land area of South Africa, which by world standards is a dry country, is 121.9 million hectares. If we divided this up among the approximately 50 million people (excluding white people), then each person would receive 2.4ha of land. The average, long-term grazing capacity of our country is about 15ha per large livestock unit (ie cow).
Thus some six individuals would have to pool their land to keep one cow.
If we only distributed the high potential land (some 15 million hectares with a grazing capacity of 5ha a cow) then each person would get 0.3ha and 16 people would have to pool resources to keep one cow.
The message is clear – distribution of the land to all would mean continued poverty for all.
The solution to the poverty problem in our country is jobs, jobs and more jobs – something ANC policies have manifestly failed to deliver. Pat McGee Fairland, Joburg