Proposed Moratorium on Land Ownership: Election Bluster Alert


South Africa’s Minister for Land Affairs, Thoko Didiza, was handed a long-awaited report today on foreign land ownership in South Africa. Among the report’s recommendations is a particularly loud and bright firecracker: a moratorium should be placed, opines the report, on new South African land purchases by non-South Africans, with immediate effect.

SA Blog says – Hmm. Given that this statement lies on the barking codswallop side of ludicrous, here are some factors, which fall outside the report’s terms of reference, that may have played a part in its composition:

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  • The deadline for the report was April this year.
  • Reports are never on time.
  • The South African local government elections happen in less than two weeks, on 1 March.
  • The ruling party ANC’s non-delivery on land reform is a hot-button issue, the cause of much embarrassment for its candidates.
  • Foreigners (even permanent residents, who pay local taxes) can’t vote.

SA Blog concludes – the report’s early release and explosive conclusions amount to election bluster. The recommendation for a moratorium is likely to be forgotten, or extensively revised, after 1 March.

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