Do not rush land re­form

Daily Dispatch - - Opinion - Phillip Giwu, via e-mail

The con­text and com­plex­ity of land own­er­ship in SA can not and must not be rushed to please cer­tain quo­tas of our so­ci­ety.

The Bi­ble tells about God’s cre­ation of man to rule the world, not ruin it. When God cre­ated man he never said there is one race bet­ter than the other. He cre­ated ev­ery­one equal. The sub­se­quent wars, mi­gra­tion and dis­place­ment of hu­mans was cre­ated by man, not by God.

Gen­er­a­tions have come and gone but we have wit­nessed the same mis­takes be­ing car­ried over from one gen­er­a­tion to the next in one form or the other.

While at­tempts have been made by world lead­ers or politi­cians to cre­ate har­mony and peace in the world, some politi­cians are about to cre­ate havoc and un­nec­es­sary civil un­rest in some parts of the world.

The land is­sue is to this day a very del­i­cate mat­ter through­out the world be it in the Mid­dle East be­tween Is­rael and Pales­tine to Amer­ica where the ju­di­ciary is still try­ing to re­solve cen­turies old mat­ters in­volv­ing Na­tive Amer­i­cans and their fa­mous “Doc­trine of Dis­cov­ery”.

The con­text and com­plex­ity of land own­er­ship in South Africa can not and must not be rushed to please cer­tain quo­tas of our so­ci­ety.

Any plan or pol­icy to rush through this emo­tive is­sue will be reck­less and can only be done by those blind­folded by short­sight­ed­ness or in pur­suit of a pop­ulist agenda.

Cur­rent Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa once said in 1993 while tak­ing part in tran­si­tion talks with the pre­vi­ous regime: ‘’The mas­sively un­equal distri­bu­tion of land is not merely an un­for­tu­nate legacy of apartheid, it is the to­tally un­ac­cept­able con­tin­u­a­tion of apartheid’’.

Now fast for­ward to 2018. The ANC in its col­lec­tive wis­dom sup­ported by the Free­dom Char­ter, which was meant to be their guid­ing com­pass when they took power in 1994, have failed to move in the right di­rec­tion in as far as land is con­cerned. We have had three very wise and ed­u­cated for­mer pres­i­dents with cred­i­ble strug­gle cre­den­tials who opted to cir­cum­vent any dras­tic land re­dis­tri­bu­tion.

What has changed now? Why such a rush? Why the for­mer pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma never pushed for this rad­i­cal land re­form while the Polok­wane and Man­gaung na­tional con­fer­ences of the ANC took res­o­lu­tions on this land mat­ter?

The de­part­ment of ru­ral de­vel­op­ment un­der Gugile Nk­winti came up with the Com­pre­hen­sive Ru­ral De­vel­op­ment Plan de­signed to mo­ti­vate, en­er­gize, in­spire, train and equip in­di­vid­u­als on var­i­ous farm­ing ac­tiv­i­ties.

What hap­pened to this plan? Was it im­ple­mented and sup­ported fully to its in­tended com­ple­tion? The an­swer is sim­ple NO.

If the ANC un­der for­mer pres­i­dent Zuma failed twice to im­ple­ment con­fer­ence res­o­lu­tions what has changed now? Why should we trust the ANC un­der Pres­i­dent Ramaphosa?

If the ANC was sure about its po­si­tion and di­rec­tion Pres­i­dent Ramaphosa would’nt have es­tab­lished the spe­cial Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee on land while in par­lia­ment they voted for the bill to amend our Con­sti­tu­tion. It’s a case of putting the cart be­fore the horse.

The ANC made a grand en­trance into gov­ern­ment in 1994 with­out any proper sus­tain­able grand plans for our coun­try.

Even for­mer pres­i­dent Nel­son Man­dela, ad­dress­ing Amer­i­cans in 1992, failed to de­fine the ANC’s eco­nomic pol­icy for our coun­try and sim­ply told them it doesn’t mat­ter whether the cat is white or black as long as it catches the mice.

Let the new par­ties like the African Trans­for­ma­tion Move­ment get into par­lia­ment and put the breaks on this run­away driver­less train on a path to­wards the de­struc­tion of our coun­try and its cit­i­zens. —

Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa

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