ANALYSIS | DAILY MAVERICK |The Land Reform train builds strong momentum | By Stephen Grootes | 21 May 2018

“…the demand for real land reform is entirely legitimate.

“It is legitimate for those who have no land, and who want some land to live on and to work on now, because they will see their position in life as being a result of economic apartheid now and apartheid and colonialism in the past. It is legitimate because our economy appears to lock so many people out of it. While it is true that everyone has agency, and you should guard against blaming others for one’s position, it cannot be denied that the dice are loaded against so many people incredibly unfairly…

“As for the argument about restitution, while incredibly complicated, that demand is surely legitimate too. Yes, it is surely difficult to take something from someone who received it from their great-grandparents. But the demand from those who had something taken from their great-grandparents is immense. And considering that it is in many ways a major part of the basis of our racialised inequality, it is not a demand that can easily be argued against.

“The land reform will now have to happen. Both in the interests of the present, and in the interests of redress. But, importantly, this must be a carefully managed process that will attempt to be fair, and, above all things, legal. The politicians can only change the Constitution, and even then, only with the true support of the majority of society. Judges can still keep the process fair.

That way, and only that way, the process we as a country are about to embark on will yield results different from what happened to other countries.”

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