EXCLUSIVE: Wandile Sihlobo on SA’s land debate
Wandile Sihlobo is the chief economist of the Agricultural Business Chamber of SA and a member of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s economic advisory panel and the advisory panel on land reform and agriculture. This is an edited extract from his new book, Finding Common Ground: Land, Equity & Agriculture
After 24 years of land reform, it is not possible to conclude in any definitive way whether it has actually benefited our economy or society. For every new urban and peri-urban settlement, and for everyone who has had the heritage they lost through discriminatory laws and practices restored, there is a “failed” farming project, or a small farmer in a remote area with no hope of earning a livelihood.
The result is that there are many opinions on what has gone wrong with land reform, and on what should be done about it. There is, however, one that is shared by all: the social fabric of SA and the economy are in danger unless a broad consensus can be reached on the way forward...