WITH politicians spewing anti-property rights rhetoric, we could but wonder what exactly sets the democratic government apart from the former apartheid regime.
The central feature of apartheid was a denial of property rights to black South Africans, a tradition that the democratic government has continued. Just as it was under the Nationalists in the past, government today still controls a substantial amount of land in South Africa. For most of the historically-black areas, this remains especially true.
In 2001, the Demographic Information Group and Population of South Africa (Popsa) found that a quarter of land in South Africa was owned by municipal government. According to the Department of Land Affairs, in 2009, national and provincial governments owned about 25 million hectares of land.