Addressing the issue of land in an opinion piece this week, the University of the Western Cape (UWC) chair in poverty, land and agrarian studies Professor Ben Cousins looks at what contribution land distribution can make to resolve issues of unemployment and inequality.
Looking beyond land redistribution, Cousins says smallholder farming can make a contribution to raising the incomes of a fairly large number of people who live in rural areas.
Speaking to John Maytham about his views, Cousins says unless we shift the percentage of land owned by different racial groups in a relatively short space of time, South Africa may fuel the flames of destructive forms of populism.
I think we have to shift land in ways that make economic sense thereby addressing issues of historic justice, dignity and belonging at the same time. We have to do that in ways that are rational and make economic sense.— Professor Ben Cousins, Chair in poverty, land and agrarian studies - UWC
The problem with the view that, with respect to commercial agriculture, all we need to do is deracialise, is shortsighted and unhelpful because the numbers do not add up. Not sufficient numbers of people will be able to get land through land reform and change the overall dispensation; it may lead to more problems down the line.— Professor Ben Cousins, Chair in poverty, land and agrarian studies - UWC
Click on the link below to hear Cousins full view....