Doing land reform badly ‘puts nation at huge risk’
SA Institute of Race Relations warns of massive risk in 'kicking the legs out from under agriculture'
A plan to expropriate land without compensation will benefit a small number of citizens if successfully implemented but will be disastrous for most people if it goes awry, one of SA’s leading research institutions warned. The ANC plans to change the constitution to make it easier to take land without paying for it, which has added to emerging-market jitters in knocking the country’s assets. While the party sees expropriation without payment as a way to speed up redressing racially skewed ownership patterns dating back to the colonial and apartheid eras, critics say that it could erode property rights and lead to Zimbabwe-style land grabs. "If we get land reform right, we make a couple of thousand people rich and we can have some impact on the livelihoods of others," Terence Corrigan, a researcher at the SA Institute of Race Relations, said. "If we get it wrong, we lose agricultural exports and damage the balance of payments.
"If you kick the legs out from under agriculture, we...