Land expropriation without compensation?Who does South Africa’s land really belong to?
It is clear that land expropriation without compensation is officially a part of our constitution. During a time of great political instability in South Africa is this going to herald a new beginning?
This leaves us (in my eyes) with the total confusion as to who the land should be given back to.
What about the San Bushmen?
As a white South African, where do I stand? My parents were requested to move to South Africa in the 1970’s to help with Civil Engineering training. The goal :- to create employment for the people of South Africa.
Will it boil down to the simple fact that my skin is “white”? Will that will determine if my land will be expropriated without compensation? Land that was paid for by my hard work. Will I be told to go back to where I came from? (Where did I come from?) Being born in South Africa and living almost my entire life here I feel South African.(I have no ties with Europe)
Exceptions to land expropriation without compensation
Will there be exception in situations like this where my ancestors had nothing to do with oppression rather they helped the situation by training “black Africans” and others, in order to have opportunity to be employable?
My family, I thought were South African? My wife is from Durban and has her origins in India and our daughter is therefore a mix of us. Will they be punished because of the colour of my skin?
I seriously am having an identity crisis right now!
The facts to my understanding:
- The original South Africans are the San-Bushman(hunter gatherers). They have a history dating back at least 40 000 years, proven by excavations of caves they used for shelter. Some Rock art paintings found on cliff overhands and caves painted by the San, date back 28 000 years.
- The “Black South Africans” have their origins in central east Africa. From there they moved down the eastern coastline towards Durban and onward to the Western cape. This movement began between 1800-1500 years ago. With an estimated arrival time into the South Eastern tip of South Africa being the early 1800’s. This is just a handful of years before the “White European” settlers. In some cases like St Lucia, the Portuguese arrived in 1554 after their ship the Benedict was wreaked.(Some arrived earlier). Black Africans did cultivate the land in Southern Africa approximately 1700 years ago before moving towards the coast.
- In the Cape Town area(Western cape), the Dutch arrived in 1652 and the British about 50 years later. In Durban the British arrived in 1823.
To consider land expropriation without compensation I think the real question is how far back do we go?
Other questions are:- Where are the San-Bushmen people? Who is responsible for their population being so small?
Again the facts I have are as follows:
- The San-Bushmen believed that no-one could own anything. Land and animals belonged to their God (Cagn) and they had the privilege to use and hunt for food only! They would pray over the animal they killed thanking (Cagn) for the gift of their survival.
- The Black African people arrived in the Eastern part of South Africa in the early 1800’s.
- They brought with them Nguni cattle from central east Africa and believed in ownership.
- The San on the contrary believed the Nguni to be fair game and would have hunted them in tough times.
- This difference of understanding of ownership sparked anger and an attack on the San people.
- The time of King Shaka the great Zulu king (1816-1828) was a radical one. King Shaka chased parts of his own nation and break away groups into the mountains. Thousands of people died at the hands of Shaka. He almost single handedly destroyed his own nation until his assassination by his half brothers Dingaane and Mhlangana.
- Once the Europeans arrived they would shoot the San people as well for the same reasons.
Land expropriation without compensation vs the Facts
So in my eyes the numbers of the original South Africans reduced to almost irradiation by both Black Africans and the White colonizer.
The numbers of the San-Bushmen on the eastern part of South Africa are zero and there is only a very small population(Approximately 200) left of their descendants living in the North Western part of South Africa into Namibia.(Kalahari desert).
Surely the facts to my understanding would put blame for the past on the irradiation of the San-Bushmen on both Black Africans and White colonizers?
The point of all of this laying out of the facts as I see it is to educate and question. Who should receive this land? Why do Black African people think they are the original South Africans? Was the land taken from them or did they take the land from someone else first?
My point also includes Nelson Mandela’s theory of a Rainbow nation, where he clearly stated that South Africa is for all people not just one group of people.
Surely this process of “land expropriation” should be a slow process and should be based upon educating our people from disadvantaged backgrounds(no matter what colour their skin is). The goal ultimately to create future employment opportunity.
I totally understand that we sit with a 26% unemployment rate in South Africa and that among young South Africans it is at 36%. This is totally unacceptable therefore measures must be taken to implement structures to correct this and create jobs. So just in case you were not sure, I am in support of Land expropriation as long as it is done correctly!
I think the big questions are : “Land expropriation without compensation” – but which land will it be, how will it be done and will it effect our economy?
We hear in President Cyril Ramaphosa’s state of the nation address recently and his budget speech that there will be expropriation without compensation of farm land. But we also hear that it must to be done in a way that would not effect our economy in any way.
This helps me understand what will be done as long as it is done that way…
We will need to provide training for those who take over the expropriated land to ensure that it does not affect the economy. We must prevent a negative economic impact as we saw in Zimbabwe where investors pulled out during Mugabe’s dictatorship.
Personally I feel we are on the right track but we must be very careful to not lead our country into a war against itself. It is clear that the original South Africans, the San-Bushman will not be the sole beneficiaries and this program is to ensure that the majority who are Black South Africans are put on a more even playing field alongside the White South Africans.
I have faith that all will go well and you only need to look at our presidents history to see that, however land expropriation without compensation has to be a slow process.
In conclusion we all need to be aware of sensationalism and those in politics who use this tactic to spark hate among our people who are all part of this Rainbow Nation! We want to see our beautiful country grow and thrive.
I am an African too!
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