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

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

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid