If, as seems likely, the ANC retains its majority in this year’s general election, President Cyril Ramaphosa will secure a popular mandate to make the governance and regulatory changes needed to press ahead with his ambitious drive, announced last April, “to generate at least $100bn in new investment over the next five years”. This project may be hampered, however, by his government’s own efforts to honour its electoral promise to amend the property clause of the constitution to enable expropriation without compensation, with the aim of expediting land redistribution. The clause currently requires expropriation to be accompanied by compensation, that is “just and equitable” (in amount, timing and manner of payment), and that is either agreed to by the owner or determined by a court. Former finance minister Trevor Manuel, one of Ramaphosa’s four “investment envoys”, indicated in what may be an understatement last July that allaying foreign investors’ fears about the proposed amendmen...

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