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Posted On February 27, 2018 By In COUNTRIES, Photo gallery, SLIDER-, South Africa, VIDEO&PHOTO With 283 Views

South African MPs vote for land expropriation

Johannesburg (AFP)

South African lawmakers on Tuesday voted in favour of land expropriation without compensation, one of the thorniest issues to confront the country since the fall of apartheid.
The motion was brought by the radical left Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party, and was backed by the ruling Africa National Congress (ANC) after amendments.
The parliamentary motion could eventually lead to changes to the constitution over land reform.
New President Cyril Ramaphosa used his first major speech on February 16 to express his support for expropriation without compensation — as long as it increases food production.
Much of the most productive land in South Africa is still owned by white people, 24 years after the end of white-minority rule — one example of the country’s struggle to tackle its stark racial inequalities.
White farmers control 73 percent of arable land compared with 85 percent when apartheid ended in 1994, according to a recent study.
“The time for reconciliation is over; now is the time for justice,” EFF leader Julius Malema told parliament.
“It is about our dignity. We do not seek revenge… all that our people ever wanted is their land to which their dignity is rooted and founded.”
The ANC is increasingly under pressure to speed up land redistribution to help shore up its support among poorer black voters ahead of the election next year.
Parliament ordered its constitutional committee to report back on the issue by August 30.
Botched and often violent redistribution of land in neighbouring Zimbabwe under ex-leader Robert Mugabe left many farms in ruins, and the drop in production triggered an economic crisis that still haunts the country.

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