Though the South African law integrates the once divided white, black and Indian populace, silent economic colonialism still persists in different parts of the country as white South Africans control majority of the country’s resources. However, things are about to change as white South African farmers will soon lose their farmlands following a landslide vote in the parliament.
There has been a growing debate of white capital monopoly in South Africa and a study published by the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) show that only 23% of shares traded on the exchange are held directly and indirectly by black South Africans; this percentage is relatively proportional to South African government audit findings that 72 percent of farmlands in the country are owned by whites. To prevent total domination the country’s capital, the parliamentarians went to polls on Tuesday to vote for or against expropriation without compensation of white owned farm lands.
The motion to amend parts of South Africa’s constitution to allow confiscation of white-owned land without compensation which was moved by radical Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party leader Julius Malema, championed South Africa’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa and supported by the ruling African National Congress (ANC) witnessed 241 votes in favour of amending the constitution as against 83 who voted against.
According to Malema, reconciliation time is over and “we must ensure that we restore the dignity of our people without compensating the criminals who stole our land” adding that “It is about our dignity. We do not seek regenge, all that our people ever wanted is their land which their dignity is rooted and founded”. In disagreement, the deputy chief executive of a civil rights group Afriforum stated that the motion was a violation of agreements made at the end of the apathied.
On the reverse side of the coin is Thandeka Mbabama who stated that there was an indisputable need to right the wrongs of the past, but expropriation without compensation “cannot be part of the solution”. Also speaking on the matter, Cope leader, Mosiuoa Lekota said there “it is a danger that those who think equality in our lifetime equates that we must dominate whites”.
With this landslide vote, there are growing concerns of an increase in the already high number of South African farm attacks— Most recent racial farm attacks by South Africa’s police’s Crime Information Analysis Centre revealed that of the 1,398 people attacked on farms, 61.6% were white while 33.3% were black— In the words of Freedom Front Plus party leader, Peter Groenwald, “if you continue on this course, I can assure you there is going to be unforeseen consequences that is not in the interest of South Africa.” The matter will now be referred to the Constitutional Review Committee which must report back to Parliament by August 30.