Meeting South Africa’s land reform ambitions poses a serious challenge. Implementation is slow, policies are confused and legislation is unhelpful. Resources are inadequate, public institutions are weak and information and skills are scarce. The political response has been to blame the Constitution. The debate about changing the constitution surfaces starkly different perceptions. There are those who argue that expropriation of land without compensation (EWC) will erode property rights that are the foundation of individual liberty and that if property rights collapse so too will the economy. Those who hold this view warn that a third of the money borrowed from banks in South Africa is borrowed against the asset value of farms and if that is threatened loans will be withheld, investment will dry up, production will slump and food prices will rise. The fact that unjust, illegitimate and undemocratic colonial and apartheid governments took land from people without compensation is not a...

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