Farmer's Weekly (South Africa)

Land inequaliti­es must be faced head-on


President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announceme­nt earlier this year that the thorny topic of land expropriat­ion would be discussed in order to avoid panic once and for all was well received by many, and it will ultimately assure the nation that South Africa’s land issues will finally be resolved.

The country has made the bold move to accelerate the transfer of land from white minorities to black people, driven by Parliament’s backing of the people who seek to amend Section 25 of the Constituti­on to allow for land expropriat­ion without compensati­on.

In addition, government is looking to establish a Land Court that will [rule on land-related disputes], which have severely hampered the land redistribu­tion process.

President Ramaphosa also spoke about the implementa­tion of the Traditiona­l and Khoi-San Leadership Act [which came into effect on

1 April 2021], in recognitio­n of the status of the Khoi-San communitie­s.

Even though it is taking some time to resolve the land-related issue, I want to applaud those little steps that Ramaphosa’s administra­tion is taking. The country’s historical and highly skewed distributi­on of land is a source of inequality and social fragility, and the people cannot wait any longer.

Therefore, I urge every part of the government, including the judiciary, as well as the Human Rights Commission, business sector and our farming community, to work together to enable the laws passed by Parliament to really assist in making sure that there is social cohesion, peace, and harmony in dealing with this matter.

Working [on this matter] in isolation will not help our country move forward. Rankepile Khomo, via email. Khomo is a communicat­ions officer for the Department of Agricultur­e, Land Reform and Rural Developmen­t, but wrote to Farmer’s Weekly in his personal capacity.

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