DC: South African city Ekurhuleni is preparing to seize without compensation land from private landowners as the country’s officials consider the legality of seizing land from white land owners.
Ekurhuleni’s city council voted in September to move forward on a plan distributing land more equitably among the city’s white and black population, The Associated Press reported Friday. White South Africans comprise 8 percent of the population but hold the bulk of privately-owned land.
South Africa temporarily withdrew in August an expropriations bill enabling the country to make compulsory land purchases from white farmers to redress racial disparities rampant during the apartheid. It was withdrawn to pave way for a potential constitutional amendment allowing the government to expropriate land without pay.
The Marxist Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party crafted the bill as part of a so-called “land reform” program to even what some reports show is a disparity in property ownership between the black majority and white minority.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa — and his party, African National Congress (ANC) — reassured lawmakers in March that any redistribution program would be done in a way that does not disrupt normal farming operations. ANC widely supports an amendment authorizing expropriation.
Some lawmakers in the Democratic Alliance (DA) party, along with agricultural economists, worry the program could suffer the same fate as one Zimbabwe created in the early 2000s, which effectively seized land from white farmers. more here