ANC’s land reform policy ‘socialist’

Capitalism in South Africa is under attack by a ruling party that is moving towards socialism and away from private property ownership.

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This was the opinion of Dr Steve Booysen, chairperson of AfriSake, who spoke at the AfriForum conference on land reform in Pretoria recently. He said the Green Paper on Land Reform had been created to establish socialism, with leasehold ownership being given preference over private land ownership. Booysen, a former CEO of Absa, said that this principle was more worrying than the questioning of the willing-buyer, willing-seller principle.

“You can’t create middle class citizens with leasehold ownership. Africa has proved this. Their poverty is a direct result of leasehold ownership as it eliminates the aspiration to improve and grow,” he said. Dr Anthea Jeffery, specialist research consultant at the SA Institute for Race Relations, said that the government’s movement towards socialism was designed to make the public increasingly dependent on the government.

“The Green Paper demonstrates that the aim is not to build up a new generation of independent black farmers owning their land,” she said. “Instead, land reform beneficiaries are to be confined to leasehold ownership, while communal land tenure in former homelands will be retained. Far from extending land ownership to many more black South Africans, the Green Paper will bring about incremental land nationalisation.”

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Annette Steyn, DA MP and agricultural spokesperson, said that Afrikaners should fight not only for their own property rights, but for everyone’s. “Those who have historically never had property rights do not understand its importance. Their willingness to give up these rights will make our fight for those rights harder.”