Land Seizure in South Africa, Nationalism in America

In the municipal elections of 2016, the EFF won more than 11 percent of the vote in Gauteng province, the province that includes the slums surrounding Johannesburg and Pretoria, and more than 16 percent in Limopopo, the northernmost province that contains a higher proportion of poor people than any other in South Africa.

The ANC’s conversion on the land-seizure issue reflects not the ANC’s militancy, but its fear. Ramaphosa—whatever his other failings, a person keenly aware of realities—understands very well what uncompensated land seizures will mean for South Africa’s economic future. Even now, he’s inserting caveats into his endorsement of the concept: It’s still being studied, nothing will happen soon, he proposes to redistribute state-owned land rather than privately owned…

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