Why South Africa needs land reform legislation

The last thing South Africa needs as it takes on the racially charged issue of land re-distribution is for US president Donald Trump and assorted white supremacists to wade in with wildly distorted assertions. That, unfortunately, is what it got when Mr Trump tweeted last week that he had asked his secretary of state to look into “farm seizures and expropriations and the large scale killing of farmers”.

One immediate consequence was a slide in the value of the rand. Another was to further stir the racial tensions awakened by one of the most explosive legacies of apartheid: the unequal distribution of land.

According to an official audit, 72 per cent of farms and agricultural holdings in South Africa are owned by whites and 24 per cent by non-whites. Of the latter, just 4 per cent are…

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