White South Africans could be forced to give up their own homes from next year as the nation’s government steamrolls through plans for land expropriation over claims ‘Africa’s original sin’ must be reversed.
Land is a huge issue in South Africa where racial inequality remains entrenched more than two decades after the end of apartheid when millions of the black majority were dispossessed of their land by a white minority.
The National Assembly agreed to the establishment of a committee that will draft an amendment to section 25 of the Constitution – a law which will allow the government to take homes from the people – and refuse to pay them compensation.
Last week the nations politicians fast tracked the set up of a committee which will write the legal change and present it next year.
The motion was adopted with 183 MPs voting yes, 77 voting no and no abstentions in fiery scenes as South Africans battle over land reform.
In the same week, South Africa ‘s High Court rejected a legal challenge brought by a group representing white farmers against President Cyril Ramaphosa’s plans for land expropriation without compensation.
Last month, Ekurhuleni’s city council voted in favour of forging ahead with ‘expropriation without compensation’ – a legal tool that the ruling African National Congress says is necessary to provide land for disadvantaged black citizens.
Ramaphosa handed over the title deeds of 4,586 hectares of land to Chief Inkosi Mandla Mkwanazi of the KwaMkwanazi community in Empangeni, near Durban.
The KwaMkwanazi community was forcibly removed from their land more than 100 years ago following the enactment of the 1913 Land Act.
Like other South African cities, Ekurhuleni faces a dire housing crunch, with some 600,000 of its nearly 4 million people living in ‘informal settlements’ and a shortage of land to build homes.