South Africa has finalized a date for a “white farmers land grab” law which will allow the government to evict white farmers out of their homes and procure their land without any compensation.
The South African National Assembly has agreed to fast track the establishment of a committee that will draft an amendment to section 25 of the Constitution.
The amendment was passed with 183 MPs voting yes, against 77 voting no and with no abstentions. The deadline given to the committee to set up the new law is on March 31, 2019.
The African National Congress (ANC), led by President Cyril Ramaphosa, is spearheading the law change so they can take back land and distribute it at their own accord.
In February Mr Ramaphosa said, “Government will undertake a process of consultation to determine the modalities of the implementation of this resolution.”
“We are determined that expropriation without compensation should be implemented in a way that increases agricultural production, improves food security and ensure that the land is returned to those from whom it was taken under colonialism and apartheid.”
This motion seeks to resolve racial inequality in South Africa where the black majority were dispossessed of their land by a white minority after the end of apartheid.
Inkatha Freedom Party leader Inkosi Mangosuthu Buthelezi warned if the expropriation of land without compensation was not handled properly, it would drive away foreign investors and spur racial tensions.
Although he is in favor of land expropriation without compensation, he stressed that it must be carried out within the confines of the law.
Buthelezi said, “I’m deeply concerned by where the expropriation of land without compensation will lead us.
“I’m not against it. But if we do not handle it with great care it is certain to deter foreign investment.
“If I was a foreign investor and asked to invest in a country where there is expropriation without compensation, I wouldn’t go there unless I needed my head read.”
Perhaps President Ramaphosa should learn from the experiences of the former President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe who similarly implemented a “land expropriation without compensation” plan and failed miserably.
The black farmers who tilled the expropriated land did not have the skills to produce enough yield to cope up with demand. Export receipts from the agricultural sector fell which led to the eventual downfall of the economy.