17:58 GMT +316 June 2019
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    Farmer in South Africa. (File)

    S Africa to Legalize Land Seizure From White Farmers by Changing Constitution

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    Land ownership has been a major irritant in South Africa, whose post-apartheid governments have been trying to take fertile land away from white farmers and hand it over to black owners. Around 10 percent of land in white ownership has been redistributed since.

    South Africa’s ruling ANC party is pushing ahead with plans to allow land expropriation without compensation, the BBC reported, citing the country’s President Cyril Ramaphosa.

    In a recorded address, Ramaphosa said that the ANC will "finalize a proposed amendment” to the constitution in a measure which he described as “critically important” to the country’s economy.

    Even though South Africa passed a law allowing land expropriation in 2016, the ANC president president believes that the constitution should be "more explicit" on the issue.

    "We call on all South Africans to work with us on developing a social compact for economic inclusion, economic growth and jobs for all," Ramaphosa emphasized.

    The proposal reflects growing public anger about the slow pace of land reform in South Africa, where a few thousand white commercial farmers reportedly possess the lion’s share of the country’s fertile land.

    Critics warn, however, that the proposed expropriations could leave arable land up for grabs, just like what happened earlier in Zimbabwe.

    READ MORE: South Africa's Land Expropriation Bill Stirs Economic Concerns

    In March, South Africa’s parliament passed a motion tabled by theleft-wing party Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) that could lead to the seizure of land from white farmers without any financial recompense.

    The governing African National Congress supported, but amended the motion, with President Cyril Ramaphosa vowing to speed up the transfer of land from white to black owners.

    Related:

    South Africa's Land Expropriation Bill Stirs Economic Concerns
    Controversial 'No Foreigner' Land Ownership Reform Proposed in South Africa
    Tags:
    white farmers, constitutional amendment, land expropriation, African National Congress (ANC), Cyril Ramaphosa, South Africa
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