Land reform crystal ball for the year ahead
A new year with new challenges and opportunities awaits us as 2017 got underway this past January. Land reform issues already surfaced. President Zuma used his final official message of 2016 to speak about land reform. President Zuma called for “decisive action” and “meaningful progress” on land reform and restitution in 2017. President Zuma also mentioned the possibility of using expropriation as a tool in fast tracking land reform, with the prerequisite that it must comply with the letter and spirit of our Constitution. And again during the recent ANC lekgotla held in January, the party’s National Executive Committee highlighted land reform as a priority.
Commentators have pointed out that in a year where the ruling party will hold an elective conference, populist messaging on the sensitive matter of land ownership is to be expected.
This year has also already reminded us of the power of Mother Nature through several run away fires in the Province. We are also in the midst of a crippling drought which affects the agricultural sector directly. Mother Nature is however not influenced by our societal and economic dreams and contestations.