Land is not the Issue

Land is not the Issue

There was an extremely intense debate held recently by the Cape Chamber of Commerce, a debate between Andile Mngxitama of Black First Land First and economist Dawie Roodt.

The reaction of the mainly white, middle-class audience shows how differently the situation in South Africa is perceived. A perception that Andile Mngxitama correctly points out, is created by the media.

For the white middle-class, Jacob Zuma is a corrupt criminal who has ruined the South African economy and stolen from the State. For them, the names Oppenheimer and Rupert , inspire admiration. They regard such families as famous patriarchs of South Africa. They raise their eyebrows cynically when they hear that the Oppenheimers don`t pay tax on uncut diamonds.

As pointed out by Andile Mngxitama they live in comfort which is all they have ever known and they are normalized, habituated to black poverty. They wear sunglasses so they don`t have to look into the eyes of the unemployed and homeless that crowd every single set of traffic lights and junctions in South Africa`s cities. They advise each other not to give money to children who are begging because they will only spend it on drugs.

The economy is a rat-race for personal wealth and for the rest, with the help of a few soup kitchens, the fittest will survive.

A joke is made about eating chicken feet if land expropriation without compensation goes ahead. Millions of South Africans are already eating chicken feet.

In South Africa there are 2300 informal settlements which are home to 12 million people.In Durban with a 3.5 million population, out of that 800 000 live in shacks.

S`bu Zikode, the founder of the shack-dwellers movement, Abahlali baseMjondolo, has said land itself is not the issue : “Land is a rural and an urban question. It is also a question of food sovereignty and housing. It is a question of dignity. It will, ultimately, become a question of democracy.”

As said in this debate, the Mandela consensus is no longer sustainable.

Source: Multimedia LIVE

Rumble in the Urban Jungle

6 Nov 2018

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