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Land reform is 'captured'

by Dewald Van Rensburg, City Press in 2017

South Africa’s increasingly business-orientated land reform programme has opened the door for “elite capture” with businesses – often white owned and multinational – becoming the real winners, while black “beneficiaries” languish without any formal rights to the land.

New research indicates President Jacob Zuma’s renewed promises to do away with the “willing seller, willing buyer” principle this year – something first promised at the 2005 National Land Summit – obscure the enormous problems that crop up once the state owns the land.

“South Africans are debating the land question in a totally myopic way,” says Ruth Hall, associate professor at the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies, a unit of the University of the Western Cape.