Does South Africa have “wannabee peasants”? That is one of many practical questions ANC historian and intellectual Pallo Jordan poses in an analysis on “the land question”, which he says must be unpacked outside of the extremes of “hyperbole and double talk”. In a paper published in the journal New Agenda, Jordan says that since the ANC’s conference in December 2017 “the issue has generated much heat, which has shed very little light on what addressing the land question in South Africa actually involves”. Acknowledging that the land question is the most intractable issue that revolutionary governments have wrestled with during the 20th century, Jordan’s paper analyses its historical treatment in the ANC and the liberation movement. He cautions that SA is searching for solutions in the environment of a modern industrial society in which agri-business and industrial scale farming provide most of the country’s food and where peasant and small family farms are marginal to the economy. J...

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