Property rights

2008-06-27 00:00

The recent history of Zimbabwe provides a salutary reminder of the possible consequences of failure to address land reform. The South African government wishes to see 30% of farmland in black hands by 2014, but at the present rate this is a remote ambition. Progress is slow, it is said, because of the willing-seller, willing-buyer mechanism and the operation of the free market.

Any general threat to property rights will discourage much needed investment in all sectors of the economy. Spokespeople for the agricultural sector have voiced fears of a breakdown in trust between farmers and the government. These are reasons why the call for the bill to be redrafted makes good sense.

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