South Africa’s former president, Jacob Zuma, has urged the government of his successor, Cyril Ramaphosa, to quickly implement the policy of “expropriation of land without compensation”.
On a tweet, Zuma argues that all the problems faced by South Africa can be traced back to the question of land.
Of all the “ills of the black people in South Africa,” he argued on Twitter, “the bigger portion of it emanates from the land dispossession”.
‘‘You solve the problem of the land, you’ll solve the poverty in this country, inequalities and the economic issues,” Zuma wrote.
The ruling ANC (African National Congress) and the opposition Economic Freedom Fighters ( EFF) have teamed up in pressing for a constitutional amendment that, if passed, would make expropriation of land without compensation legal.
As South African president from 2009 until 2018, Zuma decried the “willing-seller, willing-buyer” policy of his own ANC party.
According to Zuma, waiting to sell land to people who do not have any money to buy it merely prolongs the problem and the pain of the poorest people. He says he is in favor of those who lave large stretches of land sharing it with indigenous blacks who owned the land before.
Zuma has also declared his support for the Freedom Charter, a grouping of farmers who have called for nationalization of land.
Observers who have not forgotten the huge negative impact of a similar policy in neighboring Zimbabwe under former president Robert Mugabe worry over South Africa suffering the same negative impact as did Zimbabwe when it launched a similar radical land reform program.
[Jacob Zuma, Picture courtesy of Zuma’s Twitter account]