Pambazuka News 859: The question of land in South Africa

13 April 2018.

CONTENTS: 1. Features <>
  2. Announcements <>
Why South African constitution must be amended
Pheko <>
Almost 24 years after the creation of “New South Africa,” there are loud
and angry voices that the constitution of South Africa must be amended and
there is a strong demand that there be expropriation of land without
compensation. If the constitution is amended, the author demonstrates why
it is important that another mistake is not made with regard to the
country’s constitution on the fundamental issue such as land.

Land, factions and capital in South Africa
Mzwakali <>
In this piece, I argue that there is a historical continuity that should be
put into perspectives that in times of difficulty, capitalist interests
find ways to reconcile ideological differences to cohesively self-correct.
Using this dialectical materialism approach, I conclude that the ANC-led
government has been its own impediment on land redistribution through a
combination of bureaucratic lethargy, corruption and dogmatic adherence to
artificial constructs of the “market”.

The urban land question: Universities in cities
Mzileni <>

The property relations of a city in South Africa are a phenomenon that has
its roots on the colonial interruption of our history and they, today,
affect the political economy of higher education generally and the living
experiences of students in particular. The fact that universities, old and
new, are buildings with a physical address stationed in cities, they are,
therefore, not immune from the overall economic challenges facing the
nation and how these structurally impact the daily life of a people.

Winning communities
Schorr <>

The author argues that arable land that is used for entertainment and other
recreational activities in South Africa could be used for agriculture to
feed millions of South Africans who cannot afford a decent meal. Trying to
"safeguard" the interests of the middle class by keeping that land for
leisure instead of using it for the general good will not protect the
interests of the middle class either.

Zimbabwe: Of corrupt tender deals and elite enrichment
*Case of Beitbridge – Chirundu Highway scandal*
Farai Maguwu <>
The withdrawal, this week, by the Emmerson Mnanagwa government of the
tender awarded to Geiger International for the dualisation of the
Beitbridge-Harare-Chirundu Highway, reveals shocking levels of corruption
by the Zimbabwean authorities, which awarded the tender to an undeserving
company in the first place. The US $2.7 billion tender was awarded to
Geiger International in 2016 and close to three years later, no
construction has started. The government has cited lack of progress on the
project, as the reason for the cancellation of the tender, while the
contractor has remained mum. But what could be the reasons for the lack of

Robeson is remembered with record and Row R
Richmond <>
“Robeson may have joined the ancestors but his example, his intelligence,
his political acumen remains as a lodestar we would all do well to
study—and exemplify”, Gerald Horne.

African universities, African scholarship, African liberation
Bembir <>
This is a reflection on a public lecture by Professor Horace Campbell,
Kwame Nkrumah Chair in African Studies, University of Ghana at the occasion
of the University's 70th anniversary.

50 years since the days following the assassination of MLK
Azikiwe <>
The response to the anniversary of martyrdom of Martin Luther King, Jr.
continues to conceal the historical truths.

Unknown soldier: The inglorious Nigerian generals
Osha <>
The sting in the comments by erstwhile British Prime Minister, David
Cameron, describing Nigeria as “fantastically corrupt” will linger for a
long time. Perhaps what makes the animadversion more jarring was that it
was made within hearing distance of Nigeria’s supposed incorruptible
leader, President Buhari. The throng of hierophants eager to define
Nigeria’s identity before its youth can shape their own destiny,
capitalised on the nation’s perceived weakness. Nigeria was described as a
nation of huts (Donald Trump) and unflatteringly categorised under sh*thole
countries (Donald Trump).

Botswana: A model for harnessing Africa’s demographic dividend?
Onabanjo <>

A demographic dividend is not only contingent on a rapid decline in
fertility and mortality. It also requires strategic investments in
promoting equality, health and family planning, education and skills
development, and job creation. When countries harness the demographic
dividend, their young people become more empowered, healthier, better
educated and have more equal access to opportunities.

Kiswahili: An African pride under siege
Msemo <>

Tanzania is a unique country in sub-Saharan Africa in having a single,
widely used and accepted African national language that connects its entire
population. Kiswahili – a language estimated to have at least 100 million
speakers across the continent is mostly spoken there; it is also the only
official international language of Africa that is really indigenous to the
continent. Tanzania boasts highest proficiency in the language, although
there is a craze amongst the country’s population threatening to take that
pride away.
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Editors, Pambazuka News

Yves Niyiragira - Executive Director, Fahamu

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