The folly of ‘land reform’

Despite the wholesale attack on agriculture and white farmers in South Africa threatening food security, The Times (Johannesburg) believes “land reform” or land grab is a worthy goal, seemingly blind to what a much milder form of the same policy has achieved in Zimbabwe.

Some 70% of farms in Gauteng are either standing idle or are being used as weekend party destinations for the wealthy black elite who use taxpayers’ money to buy up agricultural land.

This is no tiny matter, as the unfolding and alarming situation is strangely not reflected in the analysis, policies and goals of the main “representative” political parties.

After 20 years of democracy and never-ending Anglo-American attemps to stir racial animosity through their myriad of foreign-funded NGO’s – most advocating land grab – blacks are quitting rural areas in droves for the lure of city life.

Established commercial farmers are under pressure, often being forced to contend with deadly political slogans, drought, high input costs, competition from cheap imports and an unsympathetic government who simply ignore the scourge of farm murders. There were about 66 000 commercial farms in this country in 1994; today the number has dwindled to 44 000.

Thousands of white crosses dot the countryside, where farmers have had their weapons confiscated to face a low-intensity war waged against them.

Yet the role of farmers in ensuring our food security and providing employment cannot be overstated.

This year’s bumper maize crop, for example, is causing the price of the staple to drop, putting downward pressure on food prices against the backdrop of inflationary pressure, a weakening currency and a struggling economy.

Despite the abject failure of instilling land-grab fever, The Times chillingly argues that “it goes without saying that the land redistribution process needs to be ramped up”.

How? By arming not only small groups of terrorists against farmers but also whole brigades who will complete a Pol Pot-style ethnic cleansing or genocide?

The editorial continues unashamedly that “reforms to deal with the deep inequalities that persist in our rural areas need to be urgently effected”.

Really? When most inhabitants don’t care for farming and are actually abandoning land, what inequalities might those be?

Clearly cheap slogans and “representativity” have already lost much of their value in the face of reality.

“Land reform” – which envisages the expropriation of half of all commercial farmland without compensation on behalf of farmworkers – is not only unworkable and will destroy what is left of agriculture and food security. It is also deadly.

It would make far more sense to abandon this folly and to stop dreaming up grand imperial schemes to steal agricultural land and engineer famines. Stalinist planning really does not have the same allure any more, despite American attempts to restore the Cold War.

The Anglo-American NGO’s and their paid flunkeys need to pack their bags and leave.