SONA 2017: Land vs. Hard Cash?
The first item on the ANC’s list of priorities for the president to focus on during his SONA 2017 speech was the question of land redistribution. In a statement released a week before yesterday’s State of the Nation Address, the ANC suggested that to achieve its goal of radical economic transformation, the government needs to “Return the land to the people using Constitutional means”.
In his speech, President Jacob Zuma acknowledged that just over 9% of land has been transferred since 1994. He urged land claimants to opt for land rather than financial compensation. He argued that: “Over 90% of claims are currently settled through financial compensation which does not help the process at all. It perpetuates dispossession. It also undermines economic empowerment”.
But political analyst based at the University of Pretoria, Professor Tinyiko Maluleke is sceptical that this appeal will have an impact. In his view, unemployed land claimants are left with few alternatives but to choose financial compensation over land:
Listen to his interview on Today with John Perlman: