THULI MADONSELA: The wrong land debate
The public hearings on land expropriation do no-one any favours, presenting South Africans with a binary choice, when the issue is far more complex
Like many South Africans, and possibly the world, I have followed with deep interest the Constitutional Review Committee’s public hearings on land expropriation without compensation and the proposed amendment of section 25 of the constitution. Though the platform has been great for giving people an opportunity to express their hopes, fears and concerns about the emotional issue of land, I remain convinced that this alone will not leave us any wiser on how to proceed. It seems to me the problem lies partly in the framing of the question. People are simply answering the question as to whether they support expropriation without compensation and the amendment of section 25 to allow it. There are no nuanced questions. Responses are also racially split: the majority of black people say yes and white people say no. Supporters argue that the current process of restitution and redistribution has been slow and that land was stolen, so it must be handed back to its rightful owners without comp...