Land issue must be resolved

The debate over land expropriation without compensation has been heating up ever since parliament agreed to review section 25 of the Constitution.

Property rights of those who sit comfortably in houses and offices and couldn’t care less about the man in the street are being threatened.

The debate shows black people’s anger over pre-1994 inequalities. Their frustrations over these inequalities should have been addressed ages ago by making them farmers.

For South Africans, land is a symbol of far more than just the soil. For most people, it has nothing to do with agriculture.

White South Africans should try to understand that it is about much more than ownership.

Land is about history and inequality and, for some, the need to put the white minority in its place, to make them feel the pain our people felt for so long.

Historically, the demand by blacks for land to be returned to them was directed not only at ownership of farms but at minority control of the economy and society.

Expropriation without compensation has become the rallying cry for many who aren’t interested in farming but feel that democracy has not ended white privilege.

It symbolises a broad demand for change and land owners will risk losing compensation, but if that is all that happens an opportunity will be lost.

White South Africans have the chance to seize the moment by thinking about poor people.

If we don’t solve the land issue to the satisfaction of most people during this current process, it will continue to haunt and unsettle us.

Tsepho Dwane Langa
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