SOUTH AFRICAN Government officials are slowly conceding their country could learn a thing or two from the agrarian reform model adopted by Zimbabwe. SACP deputy chairman and Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi last Friday said although land reform models could not be similar, Zimbabwe provided a learning platform for land ownership patterns.
Addressing an SA Democratic Teachers Union provincial general council in KwaZulu-Natal last Friday, Minister Nxesi said it was now 100 years since the passing of the Natives Land Act “when 87 percent of the land, including all the best farmland, was reserved for whites”.
“The fight remains to end capitalist class inequality on land ownership and move towards more public use of the land,” said Minister Nxesi.
He said recent research indicated land reform in Zimbabwe had been successful.
Minister Nxesi listed some facts about the success of Zimbabwe’s land reform.
He said 6 000 white owners had been replaced by over 200 000 black farmers.
“We might be able to learn something from the agrarian model adopted by our neighbours, essentially breaking down large-scale farms and promoting more intensive small-scale farming.
“In South Africa, we have a constitution that recognises and facilitates the process of land restitution,” he said.
Minister Nxesi said the constitution also required that his department pass the new Expropriation Act to govern the process.
This was being driven by his deputy, Jeremy Cronin.
Minister Nxesi said a person either supported a constitutional process of land reform “or you continue to defend privilege and vested interests”.
He also lashed out at the financial sector and what he called “greedy bankers”.
“We need to remain vigilant against greedy bankers and financial service providers who want to use the excuse of the current capitalist crisis — something of their own creation — to entrench a rapid financialisation of our economy,” said Nxesi. — The Mercury/Herald Reporter.