Land beneficiaries’ bitter harvest
The government’s land reform programme, tainted by corruption and maladministration, has burnt the black farmers who should have benefited most
The government’s land reform programme has become a breeding ground for litigation, corruption and fraud "on an enormous scale" — accelerated by policies described as "weak" and "vague" by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) and political leadership in the ANC itself. Essentially, the administration of land reform in SA is a hot mess — and it is black farmers, who should be benefiting from such programmes, who are getting burnt the worst. The effects of policy incoherence are glaringly apparent in the SIU’s 2018 report on payments to land reform beneficiaries. The report focuses largely on the now suspended land redistribution for agricultural development (LRAD) subprogramme. The report, which was released by the presidency last week, provides extraordinary insight into how a programme intended to empower poor black farmers was effectively used to secure grants and farms for people who should never have qualified for them. It also supports the alarms sounded by the high-level panel...