But one farmer says that the troubled republic faces bigger immediate challenges
By Nathan Worcester – The Epoch Times
“This thing is emotional. We cannot deny it,” said South African farmer Herman J. Roos in a Sept. 29 message to The Epoch Times.
He noted that the law would not change Article 25 of South Africa’s constitution—a more radical move that the ruling African National Congress (ANC) has frequently advocated.
The Expropriation Bill, the latest gesture toward land reform in a racially and economically divided nation, still awaits approval from the National Council of Provinces.
It would then need the signature of President Cyril Ramaphosa, who has publicly supported expropriation without compensation for years.
The bill passed over the objections of several minority parties.
Notably, the National Assembly is dominated by the country’s ruling party, the left-wing ANC.
It controls over 57 percent of seats in the 400-seat chamber. The second-largest party, the centrist Democratic Alliance, controls under 21 percent of seats, followed by the openly communist Economic Freedom Fighters at a little under 11 percent of seats. The right-populist Freedom Front Plus, known for its opposition to expropriation without compensation, has just 2.38 percent of the body, or 10 seats.
Groups representing black farmers in the country have typically favored expropriation without compensation, as noted in a report from the United States Department of Agriculture.
That’s against the backdrop of mass landlessness among the supermajority of South Africans who are black or colored (a specific multiracial category in the country). Years after the end of apartheid and its racial restrictions on land ownership, much of South Africa’s land remains concentrated in the hands of white farmers.