Dismay Over Property Rights After Land Reform Report

land reform

By Lelethu Mgedezi in response to an original article on Times Live

The multidisciplinary advisory task team on land and reform, appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa, prepared the report on land reform with recommendations. These included amending the Constitution to achieve land restitution. 

The report has generally been met with criticism. These range for rights based groups stating that the methodology of sourcing and interpreting history is disingenuous as it paints white land ownership as “bad” and the black land ownership “good”. It is also accused of omitting some parts of history relating to acquisition of land. Others have found it be morally unjustifiable as it finds that land owners who legally bought property would have to lose it as a result of national redress. 

Political parties have indicated that they will mull over the report, given their existing standpoint on expropriation without compensation. 

It is also a widely held view that should it come to pass and the report is applied to the letter, it will adversely affect food security.

Lelethu Mgedezi
Lelethu Mgedezi

Lelethu Mgedezi is an attorney who holds an LLM in International Trade Law from Stellenbosch University, an LLB from the University of Fort Hare and an Introduction to Thought Leadership for Africa’s Renewals certificate from the Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute (UNISA). As a student, she formed a sorority aimed at empowering female students mainly with strategies of advancing their livelihood. She has served her articles in public and private institutions. She worked for the Legal Aid South Africa where she mainly offered free legal services to clients in criminal and civil matters. She then ceded her articles to Shepstone & Wylie Attorneys where she was mainly involved in civil litigation. She also has vast experience in legal insurance where she assisted policy holders with legal advice, informal mediation and policy claims. Her engagement in civil society commenced at the Women’s Legal Centre where her key roles were to offer free legal advice to women and  to identify potential class action cases for developing public law jurisprudence for the benefit of women.

She is passionate about the development of the livelihood of vulnerable groups and the previously disadvantaged, using the law. She has joined the LRC as an attorney to work in the Constitutional Litigation Unit. 

Inspired by our history, the Constitution and international human rights standards, the LRC is committed to a fully democratic society based on the principle of substantive equality. The LRC seeks to ensure that the principles, rights and responsibilities enshrined in our national Constitution are respected, promoted, protected and fulfilled.