If you don’t have a plan for dealing with the country’s biggest problem, pretending you do will make the headache even worse. Despite the political theatre caused by the ANC’s apparent about-turn on land, we can be sure that landowners who do not like the compensation the government pays them will still be able to use the courts.

The ANC’s new land proposal does not mean courts would no longer decide whether compensation is fair — it means they would decide only when an owner rejects a government compensation decision. That would be just about always if the government offers no compensation. So, all the change would do is to add another step to the process.

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