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In South Africa this week, the
opposition Democratic Alliance Party issued a report criticizing the country's
land reform program.
says the program is failing because most of the people given land have no interest
in agriculture and many of the farms are in dire condition.
reporter Delia Robertson, in Johannesburg, describes the South Africa land reform program as
land restitution in which people, who formerly owned sections of land and were kicked
off their land by the apartheid government after 1910, could apply to have
their land restored to them or…to get compensated," she says.
is being given to those whose land was seized but has since been developed and
can no longer be returned.
there is…land redistribution. And that
is an attempt by the government to put in the hands of black owners 30 percent
of land in the country by 2014," she says.
this case, the government buys private land for redistribution.
There have been some problems
Land reform in South Africa has been
underway since the mid-1990s.
redistribution is woefully behind. The
government does not look like
it's going to be able to meet its own targets….
In land restitution, they have almost fully completed all the
restitution claims that were put in. And
that has taken also longer…(than) they thought it would take," she says.
there are problems on some of the farms themselves.
people who have been resettled on their original land or who have been given
other land…have simply not managed to farm that land…and producing at the same
levels as it did before when there were commercial farmers managing it. But in some cases it's worked out fine," she
says often the problems have to do with a lack of farming skills or an
inability to find capital.
Not like Zimbabwe
Africa's neighbor, Zimbabwe, instituted a controversial land reform program in
which the government seized white-owned farms and gave the land to blacks. Some of those farms went to high ranking
government officials. Agriculture
production declined sharply.
says there's no comparison between the countries' land reform programs.
South African land reform program is done in terms of the law. It is done legally and openly, that everyone
can see what's going on. There have been
land invasions, but they have been frowned upon by the government," she says.
She says commercial and white-owned
land in South Africa has not been nationalized "via the back door as has
happened in Zimbabwe. So you really
can't compare the two countries. It's a
completely different program."
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