“Many white farmers willing to cooperate with land reform”

land reform

With land being the “hottest” topic in the country, politicians and “experts” have been caught in the nasty trap of just screaming insults at the person you don’t agree with. While the land is truly a deep and complex issue, Roelf Meyer says the farmers are ready to come to the party.

Meyer was speaking at the Nampo Harvest Day in Bothaville where he was part of two-panel discussions on the land issue. According to the former politician and businessman, there is a willingness and maturity in the agricultural community when it comes to land reform.

“I think there’s been tremendous growth in the views of people in the agriculture industry over the past five years,” News24 quoted him as saying.

“I’ve been coming to Nampo for the last five years and topics that were initially taboo are now being discussed comfortably. It has become popular to talk about the difficult stuff and it shows that there is a willingness to participate in the conversation and to gain new insight. And that also comes with a lot of wisdom from within the sector.”

With organisations like AfriForum currently on a tour of the US to convince investors to pull out of the country over land action, Meyer believes these extremist views are getting too much coverage.

Meyer also believes that a lot of the positive things that are happening are not being talked about.

“The guys who think differently about the way forward are still here, and you read about them in the media, but they haven’t become part of the conversation. I think the sector’s leadership and the industry in general are making very constructive contributions to the political conversation at the moment.”

While Meyer argued that there had been a clear failure on government’s part to tackle the land issue, he criticised comments recently made by Moeletsi Mbeki.

The political analyst and younger brother of the former president labelled the land issue a political issue that the ANC and EFF are using to “attack whites.” Meyer says it’s simply much more than that,

“If we ignore the emotion around this issue, we will be completely missing the point. Moeletsi Mbeki may say that this is a political issue between the ANC and EFF. It’s not true.”

“It goes much deeper than that. There are millions of South Africans that view land as a matter of identity and we have to acknowledge that and factor it into the solution.”

The land issue is truly an identity issue, the sooner all parties start working together to find a solution, the better for all of us as a country.