Editor's note: John Campbell is a former U.S. ambassador to Nigeria and Ralph Bunche Senior Fellow for Africa Policy Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. Read the original post at his CFR blog Africa in Transition.
By John Campbell, CFR.org
Zuma must walk a fine line, especially on land.
Much or most of South Africa’s land remains in the hands of whites, and land reform proceeds at a snail’s pace — making it a source of grievance among many blacks. When Nelson Mandela was president, his plan stated that blacks would own thirty percent of land by 2014; today, they only own eight percent. It has been exploited by Julius Malema, the former head of the youth league of the governing party. (Proposals for the seizure without compensation of white-owned land and for the nationalization of the mines have also been floated by parts of the African National Congress.) Malema is a political enemy of President Jacob Zuma, who will likely face a leadership challenge at the December party conference.
Zuma, his government, and the senior leadership of the ANC recognize that Malema’s proposals would have disastrous consequences for attracting domestic and foreign investment the economy needs if it is to grow. South Africans also know that President Robert Mugabe’s seizure of white-owned land in Zimbabwe destroyed that country’s commercial agriculture and subsequently the rest of the economy and led to widespread hunger. But, interest in land seizure and nationalization of the mines reflects slow South African economic growth in the context of an expanding population. Too slow growth has resulted in soaring levels of unemployment (about a quarter of the workforce) and has left most of the black majority in poverty twenty years after the end of apartheid.
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At a June 26 ANC policy conference, Zuma stated that the current “willing buyer, willing seller” model of land reform “must be reviewed.” ANC spokesmen often say that this model is enshrined in the constitution – which, therefore, must be changed.
In response to Zuma’s remarks, the opposition Democratic Alliance shadow minister of justice and constitutional development has pointed out the constitution in fact has no such requirement for any particular model for land reform. He said the constitution’s property clause provides that the government may expropriate land subject to compensation, whether the seller agrees or not. The court sets the amount and must strike a balance between the public interest and the interests of those affected. So, the shadow minister concludes, the failure of land reform is caused by the ANC government, not the constitution.
The reality is that land reform is inherently expensive, and no government since the establishment of “non-racial democracy” has chosen to divert scarce resources to accelerate its pace. Further, South Africa’s commercial agricultural sector – though heavily subsidized by the state – is a significant contributor to the country’s economy. So the challenge is land reform that preserves the economic viability of the agricultural sector.
But, for the poor and the aggrieved in the townships or in rural settlements, land distribution is yet another injustice that the ANC government has failed to address.
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Well, one thing to consider, is the willingness of white farmers to donate a parcel of land to the collective. In consideration of what happened in Zimbabwe, I would think that some white farmers would be willing to appease the masses. Unfortunately for black Africans, the white population has been there so long that they themselves believe they belong also.
The problem is not as simple as you put it. Firstly its a myth that the land belonged to the Black people exclusively, the fact that they were moving down from the great lakes region in Africa while the Boers were moving north until they met at the Fish River is completely ignored its not PC. Secondly thefacts of the article is wrong because today in SA more than 40 % of the lands belongs to black people or the State, the land in the former "homelands" are conveniently ignored and a total mess but because its so called tribal land nobody wants to touch it in case the lose support from some corrupt tribal elder. Thirdly, many farms have been taken over by black South Africans and the result is that they either stripped productive farms and sold of everything on the land or resold the land back to white farmers. fourthly white Americans have been living in the USA as long as white South Africans have been living in South Africa so we do belong to South Africa, we have the same rights to land than a black South African or does the color of our skin disqualify us for anything in Africa? We would love an exchange program whereby the USa can send back all their so called African Americans in exchange for us, the so called whites in South Africa but my guess 99% of African Americans would want to live here because the fact is that they are Americans, their color of their skin differs but they are Americans
This land claims will be a perpeual dispute and a zero-sum game if one follows Mugabe's solution. The people in South Africa might be able to solve the dispute morepeacefully that yields mutual benefits.
your comment is exactly in line with what i was told by a south african that had "lost" their family farm. He is white and it was taken (no compensation) and split among a number of black families in the area. i think this article needs a serious fact check.
btw, the furnishings and everything else in the buildings were also taken, including the family house.
African Americans were forced to come to America. They didn't come by choice. They were taken from their land to build America with their blood, sweat and tears. Whites are from Europe they chose to move to Africa and take what didn't belong to them like they did when they first came to America.
as a fourth generation white african, Zimbabwean, and proud of it, where the hell would you like me to go?
with all due respect, who cares after what you have done to those people? you're lucky that they are not un-human like you that they let you live.
These people led by Zuma are covering fire with dried grass. The issue is bigger than the mind of Zuma. What he is looking forwards is to finish his term without trouble and leave someone else to put the fire off and burn with it as well. Malema is the man who speaks out at least to tell the occupiers of peoples' lands and they must get ready for that; at least its a chance to let them think how to compromise and leave together with the descendents of these hanged while defending their lands from grabbing.
John Campbell knows little about South African agriculture. Farmers in SA are vilified not subsidised. We are the least subsidised farmers in the world, zero, nil, nada. More than 8% has been transferred but due to ineptocracy 95% of these new farm projects lie in ruins. Many farmers are willing to help and co-operate and are doing so but government wants it all, on their terms while failing to see the inept, corrupt officialdom that will bring the country to starvation and then war
Steve. You are right. I don't know where he gets his facts.
South Africa's land issue is definitely far from simple while reported on in a skewed fashion. The size of the Apartheid era Bantustans alone covered around 13 % of south Africa's agricultural land. The world bank website reports that in 1994 Black ownership of agricultural land was 13% . http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/COUNTRIES/AFRICAEXT/SOUTHAFRICAEXTN/0,,contentMDK:20543409~menuPK:368082~pagePK:141137~piPK:217854~theSitePK:368057,00.html It seems unlikely that during the past years while there was government action to land reform this black ownership has decreased to only 8%. This reduced ownership number should spell trouble for the government of its own making. I do not however believe the validity of ownership claims by the author of this article knowing the number of farms bought by government and left under utilized as well as the number of "white" farmers who have left the country for security reasons. Some seriously dubious numbers here...
Africa belongs to for Africans.
Africa belongs to Blacks, is just a theory.
Africa has all types of people. They all deserve good and equal treatments.
Africa has also foreigners interest, who convinced and influenced its leaders by foreign agents with ultimatum force and causing wars.
Foreign agents, doesn't want African Unity. If they do, they can't fool Africans any more. Their main interest is its natural resources, but they don't care about its People or habitats.
African natural resources are the main parts and contributors of current Western Civilization and Technologies.
However, since Africans doesn't have the full required knowledge and skills to use their natural resources Civilly and properly, they are still more dependents on Western powers.
It's also too early for Black former Slaves (BFS) to takeover the former Colonists properties. If this occurred, Zimbabwe will be a clear example.
Perhaps, applying more taxes on the wealthiest South Africans, could benefit the Poor South-Africans. Issuing tax-free identification Cards for BFS is also helpful.
what happened and is still happening in zimbabwe is a miniature holocaust.
With great power comes great responsibility,unfortunately for Africa with great power comes great corruption.
The only answer in South Africa is to get rid of the ANC they had there time they did lots of good but all there energy has been drained and its time for a new party.
Please define "miniature holocaust.
If you knew your history, South Africa actually belongs to the Khoi & the San people, ‘Black’ Africans migrated to South Africa from the North. Don’t really see anybody giving land to the Khoi & San people, let’s start with them first!!!
Indeed, invaders from everywhere. First the Europeans, then the migrating tribes. I agree – land for the Khoi and San first.
You mean to suggest that the Europeans came before the migrating tribes?!!!
In his address to the CFU congress in Harare this week, Deon Theron said Mugabe’s claimthat blackZimbabweans had been empowered under the land reform rules wasa lie.
He said that less than 1% of the country’s 1.8 million commercial farmworkers and their families had received land, and even then the land was often merely loaned to them under a system of political patronage.
“The continued use and occupation of the land is dependent on their political affiliation and loyalty. There is no genuine empowerment or farmer autonomy, there is no security of tenure and there is no collateral value to the land. It is a dead asset, which cannot drive its own development,” he said.
Theron said Mugabe and members of his inner circle owned multiple farms – despite the government’s policy of allowing no more than one farm per person.
“If the aim of the land reform was to evict whites and replace them with blacks then it can be deemed a success. However, if the aim was that it should benefit the majority and not only a chosen few, then it has been a failure.”
Who are you? Get your own name.
FO and get your own name.
hahahah stop fighting kids, nothing to be proud of.
First off, I cannot believe that Malema still gets away with his pathetic remarks and speeches that incite violence and death. He even uses the words "kill them" in his speeches. He is a pathetic individual that needs to be banned from all forms of public speaking, and in fact imprisoned. I have zero time or tolerance for him, and any person with half a brain would agree!! He is NOT what South Africa needs and I am sure that people that have made a positive change in the country like Mr. Nelson Mandela (yes he does deserve Mr. in front of his name) are ashamed to even know of Malema let alone be associated with him however loosely.
Second, as soaperscrafts also mentioned, the numbers and percentages are all wrong... We all know how the "previously disadvantaged" and "RDP" and other programs have so called ‘leveled’ so many playing fields, and in fact tipped the balance over to the "black people's" side, so no one need even try explain that things are still unfair, that is utter rubbish.
As a white person, getting a job, into a school, university, getting a loan or anything is concerned is more difficult than anything else. Even as a white business owner you cannot get any larger contracts or win bids unless you are "previously disadvantaged" which of course also creates different problems.
There is enormous wealth amongst black people, the problem is that black people share even less than what they accuse white people of… and if you question my statement, look at ANY other African country!
What will help is land INTEGRATION and not REFORM. There is sufficient wealth to buy farms, or by into farms from agriculture to live-stock to hunting farms… but seems like black people choose not to, maybe they think they are too “good” to get back to farming like they did in the past. Plus, what difference does black ownership on a farm make; the jobs are still performed by the same people.
Further, who in his or her right mind thinks that by putting a black person in a position of "boss" or "owner" magically creates jobs – that is rubbish!!
The best thing that can happen to South Africa is that this whole black and white comparison needs to be simply ignored and forgotten. South Africans are such strong people, notorious for “making it happen”. We will sort the problem out ourselves, and do not need people like Malema stirring the pot of hatred. Amongst all races friendships and partnerships are forming that are based on sound business practice, common interests and mutual respect and this is happening on its own, without pressure from government – stop getting involved in issues amongst races, the quicker you do, the quicker the problem will go away. Rather spend your time dealing with issues like international relations, public governance and corruption, we as a strong nation will sort out the rest. South Africa’s international coverage is growing so much, so many more people know about us, and what we do, something that is really obvious, we are even in more movies lately than any other country besides the US. When investors and tourists hear rubbish like this, they quickly question everything they hear, and only think of the dark sides, and forget how great our country and people are. Yes, we do still have a good way to go in this journey, but let it happen on its own. Think of South Africa as a teenager, the more you push, the more it will rebel.
And finally, if you want to know how to break South African very quickly, then look for advice or guidance from other African countries… they have all tried what South Africa is doing and threatening to do now, and look where it got them. Malema (you idiot), look at your friend Robert and his country, what a success hey?! Pick one country that has thrived using those tactics and tell us about it and use that in your speeches, perhaps then for once you will actually have some sense to talk about, but of course the reality is that you will then have nothing to talk about at all, and resort back to your rants about violence.
It is now clear that there is some force, or Group, or Movement , whose sole purpose is to encourage & promote all forms of rivalry, hostility, enmity & dispute between the Peoples of the world.
And I do not think that I am the first to have reached this conclusion.
They know that Nationalism breeds nationalism, Hatred leads to hatred, Racism breeds racism,
Madness gives rise to Madness.I believe that it would br right to call Racism as one of the greatest examples of Madness & Delusion that our World is ever likely to know.
Mugabe wants to stay in power at any cost, so he resorts to the politics of Race.
He learned this racism at the hands of the colonial Europeans, as did most of the World.
How much better for all humanity had Racism never been thought up.
I appreciate your analysis.
I hope that the average SA will look at the situation in a cool, calm, thoughtful manner to ensure that SA has continued successes..
I am glad to see that so many people noticed this article as grossly skewed. I am disappointed though that CNN would be associated with such blatant drivel.
More head shaking!
Better have that shaking looked after... :)
SOAP = TROLL
I have been surfing onilne more than 3 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It's pretty worth enough for me. Personally, if all site owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the web will be much more useful than ever before.
Hello folks. Everyone is always welcome to visit – thestarofkaduri.com
Respected Mr. John Campbel garu,
30% of land issue is not a cntrovercy, in my veredict it will take time anether 5years. SLOW AND STUDY WINS THE RAYS proverb is suitable fr this issue.
Don't be so quick to point fingers at failed farms. Farming is a business not a lifestyle. If I give you any farm of your choice but you are not trained in the science/business of farming, if you lack working capital AND if you are not prepared to work your butt off, you will fail.
The land issue in zimbwabwe has been successful and the majority blacks are now enjoying what is rightfully theirs and was denied by the settlers through the bullet.To say robert has ruined the economy is relative and varies from one person to the other
Zimbabwe's president, Robert Mugabe, and his allies have seized nearly half the country's commercial farms in a land grab widely blamed for economic collapse.
Mugabe has bought the loyalty of cabinet ministers, senior army and government officials and judges with nearly 5m hectares (12.5m acres) of agricultural land, including wildlife conservancies and plantations, according to the national news agency ZimOnline.
The 86-year-old president and his wife, Grace, are said to own 14 farms spanning at least 16,000 hectares.
ZimOnline's investigation undermined the central claim behind Mugabe's land reforms: that they are give the majority of black Zimbabweans their rightful inheritance. "Even though Mugabe has consistently maintained that his land reform programme is meant to benefit the poor black masses, it is him and his cronies who have got the most out of it," it argued.
"The 86-year-old president and his wife, Grace, are said to own 14 farms spanning at least 16,000 hectares."
I'll look into this. If it's untrue, be sure not to wink a sleep again because I'll standing by to grab your balls if you do!
what do you then say to the 1million black farm workers that were thrown off, to the starving people who have not seen a proper commercial crop of maize,wheat soya , beef or dairy now for 10 years. The top brass military and political affilaites of Mugabe have taken everything, including now the diamonds being mined by the chinese, the peoples resources my rrrrse-this dictatorship has moved the country backwards by 30 years, no money has been spent on infratructure for 20 years, education is at it's lowest ever, the pubvlic service has not been paid properly , there is no water i the capital-do you want me to go on, you fool , check your facts before making dreamy pathetic comments in an obviously racist manner before you write
Article on Land Reform in South Africa
Simple realization: MUGABE WAS RIGHT!!!!!!! Whether radical land reform leads to hunger is neither here nor there: its better to start afresh, from the ground going up, rather than remain on the ground and let yester-year apartheid beneficiaries continue to reap the rewards of black people's land. I respect property rights, but the simple historical fact here is that much of the land in South Africa (just as in Zimbabwe) does not historically belong to Afrikaners, and they know this! You cannot spin the facts: after every instance of barbaric Afrikaner conquest since the 1650s, the Boers would take African people's land, cattle, and anything of value. So lets not have historical amnesia here. Neither should we re-write history to suit today's empty talk about "property rights". Where was that discourse of property-rights in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries????
A "new, well-connected black elite" of about 2,200 people controls nearly 40% of the 14m hectares seized from white farmers, ZimOnline found. These range in size from 250 to 4,000 hectares in "the most fertile farming regions in the country".
The past decade of land invasions – which reduced 4,000 white farmers to 400 by murders, beatings and forced evictions – is held responsible by many for the demise of the "breadbasket of Africa".
100 % agree with you!
What happened in Mugabe's pilot shouldn't detect SA. I have read a lot of comments here claiming that SA is better of based on what happen in Zimbabwe. Apples and Oranges. Mugabe failed because he was corrupted and gave most of the land to his connects. So to say the SA government won't give the land to the mass public is at it's best confusing and at worst fear mongering.
SA was let down by Mandela. He could have a fresh start and give back to the rightful people peacefully their rightful land and dignity but he chose to appease the western world for a hand shake and trophy. well you call him a hero, I call him a sell out and coward.
SA should definitely find a way to live together with all races BUT most importantly should focus on giving the blacks what the Indians and white's stole from them. Fair is Fair, you know if it was the other way around there would have been a genocide in SA and deep down you know it's a fact given what they have done and installed when they had a chance.
South Africa is riddled with parasites who just want – pathetic population to say the least but I guess any sensible person could see the writing on the wall – they have never learnt since the beginning of time
then leave :)
I agree with VaalNeto, 100% ETHIO, and JR. It seems that there are way too many people are willing to voice their opinion (and show their ignorance) regarding who can rightly claim to be an African. The question begs: How many hundreds-of-years does a group need to live in any particular area before they claim "to be from" that specific area? 100, 200...500...5000? To suggest that an African must be "black" to be considered "an African" is ludicrous and shows a tremendous lack of understanding regarding the African continent. The history of all countries, including South Africa, is one of exploration and migration by other groups...both black and white. The problem lies with the people like Julius Malema who continually play the "black/white race card" for their own financial gain (which is the case with R. Mugabe and J. Malema). Shame on you both!
For you history buffs, don't both Mugabe and Malema's rhetoric sound curiously similar to Adolf Hitlers, in the late 1930's, when he was saying that Germany would be a better place (and all of Germany's ills righted) if only the Jews could be driven out of Germany and their property confiscated? Well, we know how well that worked out, don't we?
South Africa is a beautiful country. One with an excellent infrastructure; a government that is trying to be responsive to all Africans; and for the most part, a country where black, brown, white, yellow, and all other colors-of-peoples live harmoniously together. There are class differences in every society, the "poor vs. the rich"...but you don't destroy a country because of ethnic or color preferences. You only have to go as far as Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Kenya, or many other African countries to see the disastrous results of what can happen when decisions are based on "color".
For you that have not lived in South Africa, I suggest that we allow South Africans to solve South Africa's problems (both black AND white South Africans).
It's not how many years you have been living there that counts, the question is did you steal it? if yes you have not earned it and shall return it to the sole and rightful owner. I hope at least we agree that Whites stole everything they own – unless as usual we are trying to re-write history...
I reread VaalNeto, 100% ETHIO, and JR's comments and I did not find these characters saying anything about allowing White or Coloured SA to work together.
So, I checked on my BB and noted that all these characters, including you, have the same colour beside your name and realized that you all are one and the same.
Do you have a personality disorder or a tumour?
FYI, if you have a filtration systems in your computer or simply BB, to identify the IP system or the left top corner of the SIGN, you could easily identify who are using someone's name to post horrible things.
As I find-out, someone (Jewish monster) is using my name to insult and uttered others.
So, make sure, all under 100 % ETHIO posts are not mine, nor I have no intention to defame others, except the Jewish who cried wolf, while they murdered my Christian-Ethiopian people, in North-America and elsewhere. Because, they found them powerless and defenceless. For this reason and as I witnessed it by myself, I might say, Hitler wasn't wrong. Probably, the Jews did evil against him. He was also on power, only less than Four years, with non-stop wars with other Countries.
However, America and Canada has also their negative remarks against the Jews for many years. So, are the Jews promising to attack America and Canada when they got a chance???!!! Are America and Canada foolish enough to unleashed their enemies and their Children to be massacred by Jewish???!!!
Well, the time that we are living is forcing US, repeatedly to check our shoulders.
God Bless US!
If your name is supposed to signify Ethical you might consider a name change. AntiSemitism is terribly unethical. Next time you go shopping make sure you don't buy any of the following items as they are all invented by Jews: jeans, ballpoint pens, contraceptives, laser keyboards and this is just a partial list. Also don't go to the movies, watch a sitcom, buy a video cam, or a CD. And if you happen to get ill and it's diagnosed as MS, you are in deep trouble. This was a disease discovered by Jews. You describe yourself as Christian, you bring shame to the Christian religion.
100% piece of s hiet is muslim.
it is believed & understood by many here in South Africa that no one knows about the land ownership in toto as there has NEVER been a completed audit. As in most countries known to me, the USA included, the government owns most of the land. At what point does my flat in Cape Town get looked upon as being occupied by an unworthy 'interloper'?
29.6% of all land in the U.S. was owned by the federal government.
NELSON MANDELA AND SOUTH AFRICANS ARE THE MOST COWARDSSS OF AFRICANS...VERY DESERVING THAT THEY GOT THEIR INDEPENDENCE LAST....
SO BLACKS CAME TO OWN 8% OF THE LAND THROUGH A GRADUAL AND PEACEFUL WILLING BUYER...OR JUST FORCEFUL TAKING OF LAND?
So right at the end of Apartheid, land redistribution should have been fast and switft....you bloody cowardd South Africans..
The criminal invaders and their apologists will DELUDE themselves & PRETEND that South African 'land issue is not that simple'.
However, for the African OWNERS of their Ancestral lands & resources, the issue is as simple as following the wise path laid out by the LIBERATED Africans next door: Just drive off the criminal euro INVADERS and take back African land!
That is what the europeans did to the Jews who weren't even criminal invaders in Europe!
African land is for African people. That is how Mother Nature divided up the planet.
European land IS IN EUROPE! Every non-european in Europe is made well aware of that fact. And only the fools among the non-europeans would not think that Europeans would not gas and bake them in them in the millions, as has been done to the non-european Roma & Jews!
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