Wright Publishing, second newsletter based on the book “One Race, The Human Race, Now”…We also promote chapter two at the end of the letter.

The Land Question

“One Race, the Human Race, Now” is almost as radical as expropriation of land without compensation – only one race, the Human race. It is what the country needs, if decision makers disagree they must at least know why.

The land taken from black Africans mostly by Europeans after they arrived in this country from 1652, any amendment to the Constitution on the land ownership must by necessity refer to Race. It might be one of the last hurdles before we can put race behind us….and start living the dream of being part of one race, the Human Race.  

In an interview with Justice Malala, Julius Malema conceded that the details of protecting food security and the economy were necessary and therefore the EFF supported ANC’s amendments to clause 25 of the Constitution. Malema acknowledged that the call for “expropriation without compensation” was an  awareness signal, the question needed detail. Malema, however, has not joined the rational debate. His various rants e.g. on Nelson Bay Municipality have received bad press, accounts of being an African Fascist and even a demagogue.

Since 1994 half of all farming properties have changed hands. (a research finding from the University of the Western Cape). Reports have also shown that the government could have bought half the farms in the country if they were really serious about land restitution.

Three Groups

Grouping of Attitudes in the Land Question?
If a poll was undertaken; what percentage of votes would fall into either Group One, Group Two or Group Three?

Group One

These hard-liners take the land away regardless. It is retribution for the white ancestors coming to South Africa and occupying the land. It is a Zimbabwe style land grab with no consideration for outcomes to the economy or the future. Those not supporting the legalising of land grabs are regarded as sell-outs. It is a purely territorial stance about taking the land and not about commercial farming. Almost assuming there has been no change since the first Europeans came to Africa. It is a silver bullet approach…just take the land and poverty for blacks will end.

Group Two

Due process is followed, the review of clause 25, chapter two of the Constitution is supported and any amendments will be accepted, including that no change to the Constitution is necessary for expropriation without compensation under laid down conditions. There is a genuine desire for a just settlement for present-day white landowners. This attitude is supportive of reconciliation. This group is fully committed to the growth of the economy, including the growth of agricultural productivity. There is a modern approach to Globalisation and the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA, the development of an African Common Market, something like the EU is an exciting focus…..needing all South Africans on board.

Group Three

These are the ones making the most noise but cannot decide whether they fall into Group One or Group Two. They battle to move away from outrageous racist taunts and like a militant union want to drum up mass mobilisation. There is no commitment to the outcome or understanding of what is right for the economy.  Pragmatism and common sense are not included in their discourse.  The question, will they join the national debate and collaborate, or will they continue their aggressive confrontation?

There were shortcomings in the way the ANC Government handled land claims – mostly the title deeds were not placed in the new owners’ hands, so they did not own the land – meaning obtaining development funding, using land as collateral was not possible.

Many other factors contributed to generally poor outcomes of the land expropriated – damage of the land in some cases.  This quote from Tito Mboweni says it all; “The poor relationship between land restitution and agricultural performance would haunt the ANC for a long time. The relevant minister’s key performance indicator was how much land was taken away from commercial farmers without thinking of its likely impact on food production”.

Memorandum of understanding on “The Land” 

This summary below is my contribution to the land question, from a believer in One Race, The Human Race. The following is my list of understandings, I am sure there will be more.

  • There should be recognition by the whites for the injustices, including hurt and humiliation that our black Africans suffered under – laws that deprived them of land, restricted movement, prevented them from developing to their potential through the racial laws of apartheid.
  • None of us must forget, South Africa has belonged to all its people black and white since the beginning of democracy 27th April1994, 24 years ago. This sense of ownership means we are all free to own land anywhere in the whole country. This in the whole Nation State of nine provinces that was created over history.
  • Sight must not be lost that the founders of our democracy in the negotiations at CODESA have provided us all the opportunity to develop to our full potential. This because of the peace that was created – the peace that now allows us to develop. A full scale bloody revolution where the winner takes all, would have destroyed the country.
  • Freedom of opportunity now needs individuals to be able to take up the opportunities to reach self-fulfilment. Land is part of the fulfilment. It would be a mistake to think that in the modern age, unlike when the land was dispossessed that it is only land that leads to fulfilment or as stated in the book economic independence. It does require, basics in education, knowledge, understanding of the workings of a modern economy, skills and capital support. It requires coaches and mentors. Avoid any notion of entitlement…owning land and farming is hard work land expropriation without compensation with all the rhetoric can be misleading. It is when things are tough that people achieve.  
  • A top priority is protection of land, regardless of who owns it. This means protection of grasses by not over grazing, protection of indigenous trees, bushes and shrubs and protection of indigenous animals.
  • What is the intent of the Government and those supporting the call for expropriation without compensation?  It needs an honest debate.  It was an exercise our founding fathers undertook in crafting our Constitution.
  • The fact that 70% of our citizens, the majority, will be living in cities means this should not be neglected by the state. City development and investment must be a priority. The development of city clusters in an African context is an exciting subject on its own. The dual living of on the land and in the city needs a separate discussion.
  • The idea that all land becomes state owned and leased back has huge pitfalls. The abuse and corruption of a young inexperienced political party in power is major factor, fairness to all would be impossible.  We also live in a time, worldwide, where land is integral to the economy, including FDI (Foreign Direct Investment). Capital loans are based on the value of property that includes the land. Take it away, what follows? It is also a huge sense of pride and incentive for the people to own their own properties with title deeds. Paid up land in the hands of owners is a major stabilising factor. Citizens unable to pay the rent to the state will create untold hardships. Paid up properties or the reduction of outstanding loans is a survival strategy for property owners.
  • Ownership, if it is collective, should use modern structures, the use of a company propriety limited, with shareholders. Giving farming enterprises to communities under a chiefdom has weaknesses.  Boards of directors should be appointed, then a competent CEO (Chief Executive Officer). It is a structure that works and provides freedom for individuals to buy and sell shares. Big corporate structures in agricultural production must be part of the mix with shareholding schemes for staff.
  • Land and capital, these go together like a marriage, many farms do not produce sufficient cash flows to pay their way, it is a modern phenomenon. Farms of all descriptions, game farms, wine farms, mountain reserve farms as well farms producing agricultural products are owned by persons or companies that provide the necessary capital to make the investment in all the equipment building etc. These owners may support these farms financially for many years by providing the necessary cash flow.
  •  The many links that depend on farms are hugely beneficial, employment of staff, suppliers in many small businesses, machines shops, vehicle and tractor dealers. Not to mention technical support from agricultural colleges, Universities, veterinarians. A thriving farming community is the life blood of many small towns.
  • The non-derogable Rights at the end of Chapter 2 of the Constitution might provide the answer to compensation being necessary in the expropriation of land. Without compensation you are invariably punishing innocent people and harming others employed directly or indirectly in the linked businesses. In the rhetoric we are losing sight of land being part of a business with all the value chains this implies.

The Future

There must be a focus on new enterprises, the total GDP (Gross Domestic Product), must grow four times, this from the book. New enterprises are needed, farms should be business enterprises. Existing enterprises must grow, a two-pronged strategy is needed. New enterprising owners of land are more likely to succeed if they build up new farms themselves with the necessary support. The successes and failures of farms need case studies for us all to learn.

Much of the real progress of new black farms has been assisted by support from existing farmers, emphasised by the IRR Report. The existing farmers together with support by large corporations, supplier industries – whether of tractors, implements, fertilisers and large purchases of agricultural products, SAB (now ABinBeev) and the retail industry. The government does not feature prominently in follow up support….it needs a commission of enquiry.  

Summary and Conclusion

Expropriation of land without compensation is a populist call, this is the easy part of righting the wrongs of the past. The more difficult part is to make land restitution work in the future. With compensation, the section 25 of the constitution does slow down the process, time for preparations, living off the land is no longer a hunter gathers existence. Subsistence farming is a poverty trap…inevitably, social grants are needed, and some members of the family must send home money from employment or businesses in the city. People can’t live anymore without modern technology, cell phones, TV’s, modern medicine, including other conveniences.     

A good mix of farmers making up this “Rainbow nation “is a good bridge to assist developing farmers. Let transformation of the land be a source of pride for the nation and not risk creating a scorched earth. There should always be a place for productive farmers and wildlife reserves with there ecotourism. Creating more productive farms by developing farmers must be our goal.

Promotion of Chapter Two

This chapter presents a broad view of our political, socio-political and ideological landscapes.  Political groupings are discussed, together with ideological beliefs.  Difficult subjects are confronted, including the ANC’s National Democratic Revolution.  Also included are white minority capital, nationalisation, communism and mini narratives versus the grand narrative.

This book is a must read for all those wanting to understand “Where are we as a country?”
The Land – The Indaba Has Begun.
Article by Neil Wright, author of the recently published book “One Race, The Human Race, Now.


Land reform is a must – for the economy, more people need to enter agricultural production at all levels – owners, employees, consultants, financiers and technical support.  The majority will be black, because of demographics; it does not need laws (BEE, AA).  The caveat is that newcomers must have what it takes to achieve in this industry – knowledge, skills, capital and technical support, the necessary aptitude and ambition.

  • Land already belonging to the state should be the place to start in providing more land, both in the municipalities and rural areas. Roll model commercial enterprises in the old homelands. The growth in the number of titles deeds taken up by new land owners, the majority of whom will be black, should be the barometer to watch.
  • Any change from expropriation with compensation to no compensation must consider the direct and indirect consequence for the economy. The direct is the hardship to people losing their capital assets, and a reduction in the capital base to the economy.  When compensation is paid, the capital becomes available in the market in some other area, investment somewhere, be it town housing, another business growth in the economy continues, benefitting all.
  • The indirect consequence is the turning away of foreign direct investment (FDI) – it takes the trust away and gives the impression the government does not understand how an economy works.; if land can be confiscated, so can other assets.
  • Consideration must be given to the farm workers. In Zimbabwe they seemed dispensable; this should not happen here. In the new South Africa without apartheid the relationship between a farmer and his staff has changed. We all have the same rights, we are all part of the human race, it means providing acceptable living conditions more sophisticated training, knowledge and skills, including business know how and preparing staff to have their own farms. Preparing staff for Shareholdings, recently attended Cyril Ramaphosa in Kigali Ruanda could be a major boost for our region.  It offers huge potential for South Africans with the necessary skills and knowledge.  Agricultural production is recognised by some interesting investors, including Jim Rogers, even predicting an economic boom for Africa.  The message to us – Get ready, don’t chase anyone away because of the colour of their skin.  Those looking for opportunity – make sure you have the knowledge and skills and learn from anyone.

What happened to him?

The call for a no confidence motion against the Mayor Athol Trollip in the Nelson Mandela Municipality, “Go After the White Man… We Are Cutting the Throat of Whiteness”.  Whites have learnt not to be too sensitive to such racial rants. But it was Malema’s logic behind his call for the no confidence debate that was disturbing.

He wanted to give the DA a lesson for not supporting the Bill, they would now be punished by losing the Mayor of Port Elizabeth Athol Trollip. There was no thought for the wellbeing of the residents. If the motion succeeded it would have returned the municipality to be led by the ANC…. this after Trollip had made significant progress, in eliminating corruption and making headway in service d

  • Firstly, the land question is extremely complex, the subject does require humility and a cool head and cognizant thinking. It does require responsible and mature leadership to be able to say “I don’t know” to areas not understood or where knowledge is lacking delivery.
  • The present generation of whites are a mixed bag.  A very small percentage of white’s own farm land (+- 36 000) other than their homes.  A large percentage of the land is in white hands – the correct picture needs the facts from UWC.

Cyril Ramaphosa announces, a major initiative to attract foreign investment. He appoints a top envoy of four lead by former Minister of Finance Trevor Manual.  They leave for London with the goal of raising $100 billion dollars investments (FDI) Foreign Direct Investments over five years.

“Expropriation of land without compensation.”  What does this do to attracting international investors?

Happy Reading! 

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