South Africa’s legislative amendment plan to allow land expropriation does not pass

On July 31, 2020, in Soweto, southwestern Johannesburg, South Africa, a woman is working on her land in a national blockade of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). REUTERS / Siphiwe Sibeko

December 7, 2021

Tim Cock

Johannesburg (Reuters) – A proposal to change South Africa’s constitution to explicitly allow expropriation of land without compensation failed to win two-thirds of the parliamentary votes required on Tuesday.

Parliamentarians amend Article 25 of the Constitution to allow authorities to seize land to address racial land inequality left over from colonialism and white minority rule Discussed whether or not.

Correcting them was a major promise of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), but little progress has been made over almost 30 years since the end of apartheid.

“Today we are standing to complete the fight against the original sin of land ownership,” Justice Minister Roland Ramora, the main champion of the amendment, said in a speech in parliament.

He states that the state targets land only under special conditions, such as having long-standing informal residents, unused and purely retained for speculation, or abandoned. Stated.

However, it was rejected by ANC opponents on both sides of the spectrum. The main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) and the right-wing Freedom Front Plus see the plan as an attack on property rights, but the radical Marxist EFF (which also voted against) is a country I want to control the land.

A total of 204 lawmakers upheld the amendment, and 145 voted against it without abstaining.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the rulers of the British Empire in South Africa gave most of their land to whites, mainly Afrikaners, the descendants of the generations of Dutch settlers that make up most white farmers today.

They left only 7% for “natives,” blacks, indigenous Khoisans, and Afrikaans-speaking mixed-race South Africans, “Coloreds.”

Then, in 1950, the Afrikaners National Party passed a law restricting the movement of non-whites, expelling 3.5 million blacks from their ancestral homes and putting them in town.

The 27-year black majority vote did little to change the geography of apartheid, even though Nelson Mandela promised to return 30% of the land in five years after taking power in 1994.

“This bill … does nothing to help South Africans who have no land, disappointed by the failure of ANC’s land reform,” said Annelie Lotriet, chairman of the DA’s Land Commission.

Approximately 26 million hectares (three-quarters) of private land is still in the hands of whites, accounting for less than one-tenth of the 58 million population, but owned by blacks, nearly 80% of the government. Only 4% are there. The data shows.

The government tried to persuade whites to sell their land under the policy of “voluntary buyers, voluntary sellers”, but few voluntary sellers were found. In 20 years, the program transferred only 5.46% of farmland to black individuals, trusts and state agencies, according to a 2016 parliamentary survey.

(Report by Tim Cocks, edited by Alex Richardson, John Stonestreet, Angus MacSwan)

South Africa’s legislative amendment plan to allow land expropriation does not pass

Source link South Africa’s legislative amendment plan to allow land expropriation does not pass

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