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Anthea Jeffery: Creeping land nationalisation no poverty solution

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Dr. Anthea Jeffery is Head of Policy Research at the IRR
Dr. Anthea Jeffery is Head of Policy Research at the IRR

Land is a hugely emotive subject in South Africa and last week the country’s main House of Parliament took the necessary steps in order to enable the state to make compulsory purchases of land to redress racial disparities in land ownership. The bill, which still needs to be passed by South Africa’s other house of parliament and signed into law by President Jacob Zuma, effectively scraps the willing-buyer, willing-seller approach to land reform.

And while this may speed up the process, which sees the ruling party lagging its own targets, there are huge concerns that such a bill will only deter future investment, which is a hugely sensitive subject given Barclays announced it will sell its R120bn stake in Barclays Africa.

Below the Institute of Race Relations’ Anthea Jeffery questions such a move and says it’s not the easy answer to the poverty question while the state can also use such a law to bring more land under its own control. Once again a fascinating read. – Stuart Lowman

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