Neels Blom Writer at large

When a parliamentary committee considers whether it should recommend changes to the Constitution that would permit the expropriation of land without compensation, factors other than the cold facts presented in the reports to it are likely to influence it. It will have two information sets on which to base its decisions and, by extension, two different approaches to evaluate. The two reports reach divergent conclusions, each reflecting its research premises and therefore its methodologies and underlying data sets. The reports are therefore not strictly comparable. The land audit report Private Land Ownership by Race, Gender and Nationality, produced in November 2017 by the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, is a comprehensive survey of land registered with the deeds office. It aggregates all land by hectarage and compares its private ownership in terms of race, gender and nationality. The department’s report includes the private ownership of agricultural land, urban erv...

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