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South African land may be taken by 'political elite'

Newstalk ZB Staff,
Publish Date
Thursday, 1 March 2018, 6:17AM
Julius Malema is the South African politician behind the controversial motion. (Photo / Getty)

Uncertainty and concern in South Africa following its new rule allowing confiscation of white-owned land without compensation.

Parliament has voted overwhelmingly in favour of a motion that will begin the process of amending the country's constitution.

New President Cyril Ramaphosa says the time for reconciliation is over and now is the time for justice.

Times of London Africa correspondent Aislinn Laing told Kate Hawkesby says there's deep concern people will be driven off their land in a way similar to what happened in Zimbabwe.

"It will be then taken by people who aren't desperately in need in farmland or urban land to build houses, people like we saw in Zimbabwe, where they were effectively members of the political elite."

READ MORE: South Africa votes to confiscate white-owned land

Laing says Ramaphosa is trying to be more conciliatory than his predecessor, Jacob Zuma, and he doesn't want the move to disrupt agricultural productivity.

"He's very eager to ensure that he walks a very fine line between enforcing those policies of the more radical elements of his party but also ensuring the economy will begin to grow more and we will see some foreign investment coming back."

Ramaphosa insists the rule won't be a smash-and-grab scenario.

A government audit last year found white people owned 72 per cent of farmland in South Africa.


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