Thoughts on South African and international politics and culture

Thursday, September 22, 2005

A sensationalist headline for an important development
"SA Government to Grab 1st Farm" said News24 rather gratuitously. Granted, the farm will be expropriated, but expropriated with payment for the property only subsequent to protracted negotiations with the farmer who has been requesting over 3 times the independently valued amount for his land. Assuming it is truly an independent and robust valuation, then I am in agreement with this expropriation. If it what the farmer would get on the open market, then we have to realise that this is what must occur to bring more rapid change in land restitution. What is important, is that farmers should be directed as to other areas available to them that will not be expropriated in turn.

One has to be a realist and be cognisant of the fact that this process has been left open for ten years and little has been done. One also has to rebut the alarmist, who will pull out the knee-jerk reaction (encouraged by News24) that we are "going the way of Zimbabwe". We're not. This is a natural response to a socio-political situation that will find redressment and balance in the near term.