Land reform and race in South Africa – a dangerous combination

Land reform and race in South Africa – a dangerous combination, by Phumlani Majozi, a black conservative.

“I deserve free land because I’m black”, were the words of a colleague of mine two weeks ago, in our argument on land reform in South Africa. He was unyielding on his position that he deserves free land because of his race. I asked him whether his family was, at one point, dispossessed of land; he said “No”; but purely because of his race, he deserves one. He wants one.

This view from a smart professional who holds a science qualification from one of South Africa’s well-known universities puzzled me. Unfortunately, our argument didn’t last that long because he started speaking over me — lost control of his emotions — and walked away. …

The drum beat for expropriation of land without compensation by South Africa’s left has become so racially charged that anyone who questions it, is branded all sorts of derogatory names. It’s a saddening state of our society. …

If we are driven by race on our land reform policies – there’s a high probability that it is only those black people in political power who will benefit from such policies — and it will certainly alienate other racial groups — which will be very destructive to South Africa. …

Nobody owes you land if you weren’t dispossessed of one – regardless of your race. …

If you or your family were dispossessed of land, present the case to government; and the government must address it. Our land claims process must continue to take place – to allow for the compensation of the people who were dispossessed of land during the apartheid. …

If the government is serious about helping the landless poor, then its first step must be to handover the land it owns to the poor.

hat-tip Stephen Neil