Trade union Solidarity today strongly denounced ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa’s claims quoted in Fin24 that the redistribution of land is key for economic stability.
According to Connie Mulder, head of the Solidarity Research Institute, the ANC is moving increasingly into a space that is removed from reality. According to a Pew Research Institute report of November 2016, crime and unemployment are South Africans’ top concerns; not land. “At the moment, the ANC is engaging in increasingly harmful interventions by enforcing solutions to imaginary problems,” Mulder said.
Gugile Nkwinti, Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, himself says that 94% of the land claimants prefer the money. In our modern knowledge economy training and skills are far more important. Land per se does not provide wealth; farming is hard work that requires various inputs and entrepreneurial skill. What is needed though, is that the land claims process finally be wrapped up to enable the private sector to once again mobilise capital for agriculture and to stimulate more productivity and growth. “The ANC’s feudal thinking about land is leading to major uncertainty and harmful policy, and is causing major damage to the economy,” Mulder warned.
What concerns Solidarity in particular is the populist rhetoric the ANC is increasingly resorting to. This is reminiscent of President Mugabe’s lament about the willing buyer willing seller principle that failed, and that was followed by land reform that did not happen fast enough. “We only have to look north of our borders to see what happens when priority is given to reckless land reform over job creation and vigorous economic growth,” Mulder added.
“This statement by Kodwa is that of a drowning person clutching at a straw. The ANC is constantly losing support at the ballot box and are now using land in a bid to divert attention from their various failures, especially when it comes to major government corruption, a weak economy and crime,” Mulder concluded.