This New York Times article is a brilliant piece of journalism, revealing in clear ways how the land struggle is moving into a new phase. Impatient with how long it is taking for government to implement President Ramaphosa’s land redistribution promise, communities around the country are taking matters into their own hands. With some of the most valuable agricultural land in the country, Stellenbosch is going to be an obvious focus of attention. As the attached article reveals, communities are invading wine farms. This is bound to spread, with major political implications for the future political make-up of Stellenbosch. Land invasions the world over have proven to be the most effective strategy for redistributing land. Because governments are bound by legal measures, top-down land reform hardly ever delivers on scale. If governments are sympathetic to land invasions, they will non-enforce regulations that prevent land invasions. The easiest and simplest move in the Stellenbosch area would be if all parties who got leases during the lead-up to 1994 in order to prevent land reform voluntarily surrendered these leases into a Land Trust. The Land Trust could then negotiate with communities and farmers to ensure an equitable allocation of this land. Without the fair redistribution of the commonage.
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