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    'Test Case': S African City Plans to Seize Land From Private Owners

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    With apartheid now a thing of the past, white people still own most of South Africa's land, but the government now plans to transfer land to the country’s black majority.

    The authorities of Ekurhuleni, a city outside Johannesburg, are preparing what they describe as a “test case” for the nation — to seize hundreds of acres of land from private owners to build low-cost housing as an estimated 600,000 of South Africa’s four million people live in ramshackle dwellings for lack of land for housing construction, the Associated Press reported.

    The planned move comes amid a heated debate over land redistribution from white farmers to black owners without compensation as announced by the governing National African Congress in a bid to correct the historic injustices of apartheid and distribute land more equitably.

    More than two decades after the end of apartheid, white South Africans still own most of South Africa's land, even though they account for just eight percent of the population, thus wielding most of the economic power in the country.

    But the government now plans to transfer land to the country’s black majority.

    In July, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the ANC planned to amend the Constitution to allow for expropriation of land without compensation, sparking fears that this could destabilize the fragile economy and spark conflict in an already socially divided nation.

    The government’s land redistribution plans made in an effort to make good on the ANC’s longstanding promise to provide the majority of black South Africans with better access to land, are seen by many investors as a breach of property rights.

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

    Aware of these concerns, the government has promised that the proposed land reform will be implemented fully in line with a parliamentary process and that there is no cause for alarm.

    The ANC is under pressure to speed up land reform in the run-up to next year's national election, where the ultra-left Economic Freedom Fighters party has made faster land redistribution one of its main priorities.

    Related:

    Hundreds Gather in New Zealand Against South Africa Land Grab From White Farmers
    White Farmers 'Panicking', Put Their Land up For Sale in South Africa – Reports
    Tags:
    concerns, housing construction, land ap\propriation, city, African National Congress (ANC), Cyril Ramaphosa, South Africa
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