Following the long debate on expropriation without compensation and the concerns by the Zulu people, concerning the targeted property, more powerful groups have come out to challenge the government.
Popular and influential Zulu monarch Goodwill Zwelithini has charged President Cyril Ramaphosa to sign an agreement promising to exclude territories under the monarch controls from a government land reform drive. The king said this in Durban on Sunday to a large crowd of audience.
This is coming after Ramaphosa assured the international community that the land reform process will be implement din a way that no one will be adversely affected.
Earlier the land expropriation agitation was proposed by the EFF leader Julius Malema, but some say the ANC suddenly bought into the idea as a means to garners votes from the black majority.
From the government’s body language, white-owned land seem to be the major focus for expropriation
The king controls 2.8 million hectares under an entity called the Ingonyama Trust.
Last month, a senior ANC official said the land reforms will include issuing title deeds to small-scale farmers on tribal lands, a departure from statements by Ramaphosa, who has pledged to the king that he would not to touch the land he controls.
The government is seeking to provide security of tenure to the 17 million people – a third of South Africa’s population – who reside on tribal lands controlled by traditional leaders.
“The President must come here to tell me and the Zulu nation, which I will call to gather here. He must tell us and then sign an agreement that the land of the Zulus will not be touched,” the king was quoted as saying.
In July, the king warned of conflict over the issue. Other traditional leaders also publicly told the ANC not to undermine their authority on the 13% of South African territory they rule.
Tribal authorities in these areas – the former homelands where most blacks were confined under apartheid – have wide powers of land allocation and curtailing their power could have implications for a range of actors including mining companies which cut deals with the chiefs to access minerals.
Traditional Affairs Minister Zweli Mkhize told Reuters on Friday the government had not yet decided how land reform would happen in the tribal areas.
According to Mkhize, “We haven’t yet reached consensus. It is a somewhat slippery issue, we are still trying to find the best solution,”
The land reform is a strong source of concern to investors and there are speculations that this is part of the reason why some investors are contemplating what the outcome will look like.