Letter: That land reform has suffered ‘capture’ is common cause - Businesslive

20 December 2018 - As our incapacitated but interventionist state demands greater powers to intervene, the avenues for unscrupulous businesses (or even criminal enterprises) to commandeer state power for their own ends will only expand.

Ismail Lagardien is correct in recommending in his column, Zondo commission should be expanded to probe spending on land reform, this week.

That land reform has suffered “capture” should, by now, be common cause — and there is every likelihood that the government’s policy agenda will aggravate it.

Research by Professors Ruth Hall and Thembela Kepe on land-reform projects in the Eastern Cape revealed disturbing evidence of collusion between the state and businesses, to the detriment of the nominal ‘beneficiaries”. This matches what we have found in investigating land politics — truly pitiable stories of communities deprived of their holdings by crooked business and political interests.

Furthermore, elite capture was identified as one of the factors crippling land reform in the 2017 report of the high-level panel into transformative legislation.

The administrative pathologies afflicting the state have made this possible, if not inevitable.

Meanwhile, the drive to expand the state’s discretion to seize land through expropriation without compensation will open up opportunities for more of this. As our incapacitated but interventionist state demands greater powers to intervene, the avenues for unscrupulous businesses (or even criminal enterprises) to commandeer state power for their own ends will only expand.

Terence Corrigan, Institute of Race Relations, Johannesburg

https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/opinion/letters/2018-12-20-letter-that-land-reform-has-suffered-capture-is-common-cause/

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