How reform is undone

2012-11-26 00:00

RECENT letters in The Witness regarding land reform and minimum wage, demand a reply. Sadly, the gentleman’s ill­informed opinions regarding land reform are no doubt what the masses in this country are thinking and the ease with which he lays blame at the foot of organised agriculture makes me wonder why he’s not in politics. No one in their right mind can deny that land reform must happen. People who were dispossessed of their land in the apartheid era must have it returned or be compensated accordingly. That is a basic human right upheld by our new Constitution and trust me, farmers are the first to agree with this.

Thirdly, farmers are compensated only as agreed to by government and that in itself can take years, which doesn’t help anyone’s cause and translates into insecurity that affects development and yes, you guessed it — much-needed jobs. Yes, inflated values are being paid. If you can sell your farm for 10 million and not five million, which would you do? If you say you’d accept a lesser value, then you are either a dyed-in-the-wool hypocrite or a close relative of Mahatma Gandhi’s. Unfortunately, the process of land redistribution is not one of common sense — it’s one of politics, and in the end all South Africans are going to lose.

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