The recent report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), published on 19 November 2018, points out the continuing slowdown in the South African economy and warns that the planned land reform might further aggravate the situation.
The IMF notes that the land reform must make use of previous international experience in order to avoid making a mistake. The global lender stressed that the reform must focus on 'enhancing agricultural productivity and strengthening tenure security' and that its potential negative effects, namely those related to 'security of property rights,' must be mitigated.
Land reform is not the only challenge that threatens South African economic stability, according to IMF. One of the biggest threats named was cash-strapped state firms, such as the heavily indebted Eskom power company. Growing public debt and staggering reforms were also on the list of economic challenges that the government of Cyril Ramaphosa is facing.
On 16 November 2018 a South African parliamentary committee issued a positive review on the planned constitutional change that would allow government land grabs without compensation in the future as a part of the planned land reform.
The ruling African National Congress (ANC) and the government of Cyril Ramaphosa is planning to adopt a law, which will allow it to seize farm lands from the country's white population, which owns most of the country's farmland, and to redistribute it among landless black citizens. White farmers will not be compensated for their land.
South Africa's largest agricultural union AgriS as well as several opposition parties are attempting to thwart the reform, claiming it to be illegal and dangerous for the country's agricultural sector. Many of those, who oppose reform, point out the results of the same law in Zimbabwe, which lost its status as of one of the biggest producers of agricultural goods in Africa following the land grabs from the white minority, which owned most of the farms in the country.