12 steps to equitable land ownership

2011-07-23 09:12

South Africa has the largest gap in the world between the rich and the poor. In order to eliminate extreme wealth for the white minority and extreme poverty for the poor majority 12 things must be done.

1. There must be a database establishing how much land ownership is in foreign hands.

2. There must be a quick law made in Parliament forbidding the sale of land to foreigners, especially those from outside Africa.

They must be offered only leasehold options not freehold. Too much prime land, especially along the coast, is fast becoming ­Europe.

3. The government must assess and evaluate land that is being sold to Africans. Inflated ­prices must be controlled.

4. There must be legislation limiting the amount of ownership of land. Those owning excessive land and resisting the reduction must be highly taxed as a deterrent.

The money realised from huge landowners must be put in a trust account and used to acquire land for the landless, as well as training them to ­become successful food-security farmers.

5. Landowners of large farms who cooperate with the national agenda on equitable redistribution of land must be well subsidised and empowered to compete with other farmers internationally.

6 . Excessive land and its resources in the hands of the minority must be equitably redistributed among the landless majority.

7. Research must be done on ownership of land according to race in South Africa to bring about racial equality in this country.

The fundamental solution to equitable redistribution of land lies more in land presently owned by the minority population of this country than in land owned by the state.

All unused land must be nationalised and used to eliminate the filthy squatter camps in the cities and elsewhere.

More land must be allocated to the rural areas, especially for ­farming.

10. There must be serious dialogue with those who own excessive land. They must be challenged on the basis of their morality, their ­religion and sense of justice to cooperate with a programme of equitable land redistribution.

11. Land must be used as a form of reparations to compensate the ­African majority for the colonial robbery of their land and 350 years of colonial looting. The TRC failed to do this.

12. If there is resistance, as a last resort, land must be nationalised and equitably redistributed to the poor. Compensation must be paid only for improvements made on the land, not on the land itself.

» Pheko is author of The Hidden Side of South African Politics and a former MP

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