Malema is the canary in the coal mine - land reform expert

EFF leader Julius Malema is in hot water for telling people to grab land. And now Afriforum and Afribusiness are planning to take Malema to court to interdict him from inciting people to occupy land.

Professor Ben Cousins, Director of the Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (Plaas) at University of the Western Cape spoke to 702's John Robbie about the state of land reform in South Africa.

Is any progress being made?

Very slow and rather ineffective. Not reducing poverty...agriculture production is still very unimpressive.

Professor Ben Cousins, Director of the Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (Plaas), UWC

So despite the claims from government, the results on the ground show the opposite.

Professor Ben Cousins, Director of the Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (Plaas), UWC

Cousins says while Malema is proposing actions that are outside the law and are unconstitutional, he is tapping into an important need.

We need to see him as the canary in the coal mine. He is a clear sign that people are unhappy and they might respond to such calls by seeing land occupation as a possibility.

Professor Ben Cousins, Director of the Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (Plaas), UWC

Issues around commercial development and historical land claims are not being reconciled and District Six is a case in point, says Cousins.

Along with that has been the remarkable inefficiency of the Restitution Commission throughout the country.

Professor Ben Cousins, Director of the Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (Plaas), UWC

On the positive side, he says there are some beneficial processes underway currently

Government has launched Operation Phakisa, for rural development and land reform, and we waiting with baited breath to see if any new ideas come out of that.

Professor Ben Cousins, Director of the Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (Plaas), UWC

There is also a high-level Parliamentary panel under Kgalema Mothlante on land reform and will be conducting public hearings. Cousins urges citizens to participate and be heard.

Listen to Prof. Cousins present a realistic picture of land reform in SA currently...


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