Mandela calls for land reform

SOUTH AFRICA'S President Nelson Mandela warned yesterday that only a fair redistribution of land to its former black owners would guarantee peace as the country emerged from apartheid minority rule.

Mr Mandela was speaking at an emotional ceremony in this sleepy town in the volatile KwaZulu- Natal province, held to mark the handing back of more than 600,000 hectares of land to former black owners.

Mr Mandela, who became president in 1994 in the country's first democratic elections, said the Land Reform Programme that his government had enacted in its first year in power would help right the wrongs of the past.

"Our land reform programme helps redress the injustices of apartheid. It fosters national reconciliation and stability," he told a gathering, which included the Zulu King, Goodwill Zwelithini. "It also underpins economic growth and improves household welfare and food security." he added.

The ceremony involved handing back land to about 85 black households, whose land was expropriated by whites during the apartheid era. Up to 25 of the beneficiaries were black women.

Mr Mandela said that his government's land reform, which involves negotiations between the victims of apartheid and the whites who still own most of South Africa's best land, would help create stability by raising living standards.

"The progress we are making in land reform is matched in our efforts to address the poverty that apartheid created," he said.

South Africa's land reform programme contrasts sharply with that of neighbouring Zimbabwe where the government of President Robert Mugabe has given notice that it will expropriate land from white owners without any compensation.

In South Africa, land redistribution is done through the Restitution of Land Rights Act enacted in 1994. This involves buying back land at market value after negotiations between former black owners and white farmers.

Land ownership is one of the most emotive issues in South Africa, where whites make up 13 per cent of the population but control over 70 per cent of the land.

South Africa's parliament passed legislation soon after the first all- race election in 1994 giving thousands of blacks stripped of their land under decades of apartheid three years to claim it back.

About 23,000 cases have already been lodged with the commission, which is overseeing the restitution of land rights.

Statistics show that up to 400,000 hectares of land have been redistributed back to almost a quarter of a million of former black owners.

But the scheme has its critics, who say land redistribution is not moving fast enough and say the government programme must be speeded up if South Africa is to avoid Zimbabwe's problems.

Ground-breaking land tenure protection to shield black farmworkers from arbitrary eviction by landowners also became law in South Africa in November last year.

The farmworkers, who are mostly black, have been one of the most disadvantaged sectors in the country.

Previously, they had no recourse to the law in cases of eviction, even if their families had worked the same farm land for decades.

Mr Mandela's government is not bent on a confrontational approach with white farmers and businessmen. It is also encouraging new black land owners to join in economic partnerships with white businessmen and former land owners.

n AP Johannesburg - A flight from London to Johannesburg has landed Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in trouble. It began at the British Airways first-class check-in counter at Heathrow Airport last week, when Mr Mandela's former wife tried to board a flight with excess baggage.

When she was told she had to pay pounds 1,000 for extra luggage, she said she had only one-third of the money. After arriving in South Africa, she fired off a letter to the airline, saying she had been travelling first-class on a diplomatic passport and had expected better treatment.

After opposition politicians asked why she had such a diplomatic passport the government said Ms Madikizela-Mandela was no longer entitled to such a privilege. It had been issued to her when she was a minister, a post she lost three years ago.

News
Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
tv

New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

Voices
Left: An illustration of the original Jim Crowe, played by TD Rice Right: A Couple dressed as Ray and Janay Rice
voices

By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen

News
John Moore inspired this Coca Cola Christmas advert
people

News
people

Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Jamie Oliver’s version of Jollof rice led thousands of people to post angry comments on his website
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Vividly drawn: Timothy Spall in Mike Leigh’s ‘Mr Turner’
film

Review: Mike Leigh's biopic is a rambling, rich character study

Arts and Entertainment
glastonbury
Arts and Entertainment
Shelley Duvall stars in Stanley Kubrick's The Shining
film
Arts and Entertainment
Shock of the news: Jake Gyllenhaal in ‘Nightcrawler’
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Agricultural Solicitor - East Midlands

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: EAST MIDLANDS MARKET TOWN - A new and exciting...

English Teacher Thetford Secondary

£110 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Cambridge: An Academy based in Thetfor...

Secondary Teacher Great Yarmouth

£115 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Cambridge: Randstad are currently work...

Teaching Assistant to work with Autistic students

£60 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Leicester: Randstad Education Leicester ...

Day In a Page

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes