From: The Stream

Will returning white-owned land to black Africans help South Africa?

Ruling party wants to test plan for land expropriation without compensation.

To address a history of colonial land dispossession, South Africa’s ruling party says it wants to take back land, without compensation, from white farmers and transfer ownership to black citizens.

The controversial “land expropriation without compensation” plan aims to reduce racial disparities in land ownership as white South Africans still own the majority of land in a country that is 80 percent black. Since the end of apartheid in 1994, the government has been slowly buying back white-owned land to redistribute it to black farmers.

South Africa has a history of colonisers forcing blacks from their original land and crowding them into rural reservations that became known as “Homelands”. In 1913, the Native Lands Act made it illegal for black Africans to own land outside of these designated areas.

So how should the government right the wrongs of the past while creating a more racially equitable system of land ownership? Join the conversation and follow the online debate with #LandExpropriation.


On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:


Tembeka Ngcukaitobi

Human Rights Lawyer & Author, ‘The Land is Ours’


Elmien du Plessis @elmienduplessis

Associate Professor of Law, North-West University 


Ben Cousins

Research Chair, Poverty Land and Agrarian Studies, University of Western Cape


Sihle Ngobese @BigDaddyLiberty

Industrial Sociologist


Read more

South Africa’s ANC to ‘test constitution’ on land expropriation – Reuters
‘It’s time for the ANC to get land reform right’ – Huffington Post South Africa
South Africa’s land debate is clouded by misrepresentation and lack of data – The Conversation