News / Africa

South Africa Expert Urges Full Support for New Land Policy

South African President Jacob Zuma delivers the State of the Nation Address during the opening of parliament in Cape Town, South Africa, February 10, 2011 (file photo)
South African President Jacob Zuma delivers the State of the Nation Address during the opening of parliament in Cape Town, South Africa, February 10, 2011 (file photo)

Multimedia

Audio
  • Clottey interview with Somadoda Fikeni,chairman of the Walter Sisulu University Council

TEXT SIZE - +
Peter Clottey

The chairman of the Walter Sisulu University Council is urging South Africa’s government to step up its efforts to publicize its newly announced land policy.

It aims to restrict foreign and privately owned property, and lease out public and state land.  It would also increase the amount of land redistributed from white farmers to black farmers.

Somadoda Fikeni, who is also a policy expert, said the new plan needs to be well monitored and executed to achieve its objectives. He said the previous land policy did not go as well as the administration originally planned.

It had established goals for redistributing commercial land, mostly owned by whites to landless blacks.

“They will be happy to learn that the government has admitted the failure of the land reform program, which had only yielded three percent of the targeted 15 percent [land distribution],” said Fikeni.

Land reform minister Gugile Nkwinti revealed Wednesday that black farmers have resold nearly 30 percent of the white farms the government bought for them often back to the previous white owners.

Nkwinti unveiled a revised land policy paper intended to help redistribute agricultural land and correct anti-black policies enforced during apartheid.

Observers say a majority of agricultural land still remain in the hands of white minority farmers despite the end of apartheid 16 years ago.

Zimbabwe Comparison

Many analysts blame the collapse of Zimbabwe’s economy on its agricultural policy. It was based on reforms critics have called a “land grab” which took mostly commercial agricultural land from white farmers and gave them to landless blacks.

Some people expressed concern that if not properly addressed, South Africa’s land policy could undermine its agricultural needs, an assertion Fikeni said is farfetched.

“I doubt it will come to that level. In fact, if South Africa moves very fast to have a more effective land reform policy within its constitutional confines, it stands a better chance of avoiding reforms that ended up being chaotic and outside the constitution in Zimbabwe,” said Fikeni. “The risk of doing nothing…will actually be [what leads] to a Zimbabwe-like situation in the long run.”

New policy prospects

Fikeni said if well implemented, the government’s new policy will go a long way toward ensuring South Africa’s food self-sufficiency and could make the country a breadbasket for Southern Africa.

He said the government must execute and monitor its new land policy effectively.

“Those given land for farming ought to be assisted so food security is not compromised.   That in itself will begin to deracialize the commercial farming sector and perhaps bring stability, instead of the current risk and threats where the sector is seen as almost exclusively white,” Fikeni said.

You May Like

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid