Coun­try’s unique land sit­u­a­tion should not be triv­i­alised

The Star Early Edition - - LETTERS - Pa­trick Mphuthi

SOME crit­ics of land ex­pro­pri­a­tion with­out com­pen­sa­tion, in­clud­ing revered jour­nal­ist/ po­lit­i­cal an­a­lyst Max du Preez, have triv­i­alised our pro­tracted strug­gle for free­dom and are seem­ingly averse to our ex­is­tence as an African na­tion.

The no­tion that land ex­pro­pri­a­tion with­out com­pen­sa­tion will be cat­a­strophic for the econ­omy, sta­bil­ity and food se­cu­rity has be­come pop­ulist rhetoric for those pur­port­ing to seek to sus­tain the sta­tus quo of racial supremacy (whites own­ing more than 80% of us­able land and wealth).

Blacks have known no worse catas­tro­phe than be­ing forcibly re­moved from an­ces­tral land, not al­lowed to own land (Land Act of 1913) and re­fused burial on farms where gen­er­a­tions have lived and toiled as “pseudo-slaves”.

As a re­sult, gen­er­a­tions of African fam­i­lies have been dis­in­te­grated, thrown into ab­ject poverty and moral de­gen­er­a­tion. The near-irreparable dam­age caused can­not be quan­ti­fied.

Re­me­dial action in ad­dress­ing the ills of the past will take much more than re­cov­er­ing land, which is com­pounded by our por­ous bor­ders, rogue politi­cians who daily view in­for­mal set­tle­ments and poverty while com­mut­ing in air-con­di­tioned business class between Cape Town and Tsh­wane, and the re­luc­tance from the in­cum­bent gov­ern­ment to change the leg­is­la­tion.

Of course a re­spon­si­ble ap­proach is re­quired to ad­dress our unique chal­lenges and in­equal­ity (the largest in the world) chal­lenges. But re­spect­ing ill-got­ten prop­erty rights is not a so­lu­tion.

All pa­tri­ots (ir­re­spec­tive of race or creed) need to work to­gether to solve our unique chal­lenges and re­alise our po­ten­tial as a na­tion. Sand­ton

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.