land claims

Land reform and radical economic transformation. I got no reply from our President to this letter I sent him.

To President Zuma

This letter relates to your calling for radical economic transformation in South Africa, which is apparently going to happen when farmland (specifically white owned) is taken without compensation.

Before we delve into this issue lets be clear that this is just another example of the tactic, by your ANC primarily, to divert from your mismanagement of the country whilst you try to loot what remains. It is directly from the Robert Mugabe textbook on governance. Examples abound, the most recent being the Coligny drama. (See Rian Malan’s article on this)

Increasing desperation is the sign that accompanies the loss of hegemony.

First, who is going to feed the people if all the white farmer’s land is taken? From your rabid support of Mugabe it appears that you are ignoring the fact that Zimbabwe used to be the breadbasket of Africa but since your hero kicked all white farmers off their farms the country cannot feed itself and has to rely on donated food. Those white farmers have found work elsewhere but their farm labourers have not been so lucky.

Second, there’s no point in taking land from white farmers if you don’t have the infrastructure in place to ensure that this land stays productive. Not a single land claim farm in this country, managed by the claimants, has remained productive. That is a massive failure on the part of the ANC. Some farm workers could become farm managers but this requires prolonged investment in their training and as you well know your government has little interest in the hard work of teaching skills and consequently uplifting people. Organised agriculture throughout the country has made many offers to government to help in this regard but it has been repeatedly rebuffed.

Third, at least 80% of white-owned farmland is in turn owned by the banks so by taking the land you’ll be unburdening the banks of their load. Do you really want to do this? That does not suit another of your myths, namely white monopoly capital.

Fourth, the people are sick. South Africa is the third most obese nation on earth. There are many reasons for this however the primary reason is that the people are being fed the wrong food. Imagine the impact if you spent your energy on encouraging farmers to grow food that nourishes humans and heals the land, regardless of the age, sex or skin colour of the farmer. Sustainability is an outdated idea. Regenerative agriculture is the future.

Fifth, how does your scenario play out in the Western and Northern Cape? The original inhabitants, the San, have been practically exterminated therefore there are no possibilities for land claims.

Sixth, the government is the biggest landowner. It is black. The second biggest landowners are the tribal chiefs. They are also black. The chief’s land, being generally the most fertile, has the most potential to produce food for the people however it is overgrazed and mismanaged. Your clearly don’t have the courage to take on the chiefs and so instead you try to bully white farmers, most of whom are making a humble living on marginal agricultural land.

Arguably the best example of how economically sterile land has become productive is the Amadlelo Agri project in the Eastern Cape. This is how land claims should be handled.

Next time you are in the Cape, Mr President, allow me take you around our farm near Stellenbosch where we can discuss how regenerative agriculture creates jobs, nourishes humans and heals the earth.

Yours sincerely

Farmer Angus

16 May 2017

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