A record number of farms are hitting the market in South Africa as white farmers try desperately to offload land and leave the country before the government confiscates their acreage.
According to a report in the Sunday Express, the African National Congress (ANC) — South Africa’s ruling party — suggested last week that it is considering confiscating farmland from white farmers without compensation. In a meeting on “reforming land ownership,” several civil servants claimed that its time to “expropriate” land from the country’s white farmers in reparations for Apartheid.
ANC’s chairman Gwede Mantashe “sparked panic” when he agreed with reparations activists, telling a crowd that no white landowner should be allowed to control more than 25,000 acres.
“You shouldn’t own more than 25,000 acres of land,” Mantashe said. “Therefore if you own more it should be taken without compensation.”
South Africans — both black and white — aren’t thrilled with the idea since a major re-appropropration and re-division of land would severely harm South Africa’s farming industry, destroying jobs and opportunities for both black and white workers. Others, with knowledge of history — particularly what happened after the government grabbed land from white farmers in neighboring Zimbabwe — say they’re terrified the government has no real plan for its seizure and could send the country tumbling into economic ruin.
That hasn’t stopped the rhetoric, though, and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is reportedly working on a plan to rewrite the country’s constitution to allow for the land grab, under pressure from the far left within his own country who are challenging the ANC in upcoming elections by telling voters they’ll grab the land without approval.
“We are not advocating for a white genocide. But the land belongs to us. We will do everything we can to get it back,” one far left leader told media during a meeting last week.
White farmers aren’t waiting around to find out who wins in the race to grab their land; they’re leaving. Hundreds of farms are now for sale in South Africa as farmers take off to Australia and other countries where farmland is plentiful and immigration requirements are lenient.