By Nomvuyo Sebeko
Soon after being sworn in as South Africa’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa mentioned that land expropriation without compensation would be effected in his first State of the Nation Address (SONA). He also assured citizens that this will be done in such a way that it will not affect agricultural production or jobs. The debates around the topic on TV and social media got young people talking about how it will affect them. This is what some Activators had to say:
Motsatsi Mmola 2013 Activator Limpopo
“United we stand divided we fall”
“Taking back the land to their rightful owners is a good thing because it’s like giving them their identity back. The main problem will be how people will use that land in order to boost our economy and create job opportunities since not everyone has the necessary skills and equipment to go into agriculture or just a small business venture. The taking back of land, does not guarantee wealth so what I think we need to do first is to change the government systems and how government does things. The problem is not that we don’t have land, the problem is that we are divided and fighting one another instead of being united and coming up with solutions.”
Siphiwe Mngadi 2016 Activator Gauteng
“Land without compensation means that government will expropriate the land without paying for it or what has been built on it. This will be done in a manner that will improve food security in the country.”
Kabelo Manamela Activator 2016 Gauteng
“My concern is not that we shouldn’t as Africans be entitled to land but the concern is the “Entitlement-mentality” that has been entrenched in our minds – indoctrination. I believe we are made to chase a ghost topic when the real issue of economic emancipation is being controlled by the minority. On the land topic, our education system has thus far as yet not prioritised the agricultural sector as a key fundamental agenda and the agricultural department is mainly seen as a cash cow for farmers, but it does not and has not played its part in entrenching farming as one of the TVET and or higher learning modules in our schools, as that is the focal point where we need to start as the majority (Africans). We are then given topics and or training on hand-work and or minor labour-intensive skills that have been the tradition since Bantu-education. The sooner we (Africans) diminish the “I deserve” mentality the better things will be for us.
A hundred years ago land was taken forcefully from their rightful owners by the oppressors and it was given to people who had power then. What about the San community who are regarded as the original descendants of the South African soil? Will they too get land?