Perdeby asked students around campus about their opinioins on the land expropriation issue:

Akira Modise (BA International Relations)
I am fifty-fifty. I am for it and against it, against it because government owns most of the land, and people are making it a race thing when it isn’t. People genuinely do need back their land, and we need less malls. We need people who need land, and they’re not going to compensate people, that’s not fair. If you look at the farms, some people are generational farmers, with the land handed down from their grandfathers, there’s this whole history behind it and now you’re not going to compensate them? That is very selfish, and what are we going to do with that land? We need to be careful, or we will go the same way as Zimbabwe. Farming provides most of our food, so what’s going to happen then?

Atlegang Nyakale (BEng Chemical Engineering)
It’s a complicated issue, you can’t just take something from people without compensating, especially if they are using it for the greater benefit. If it’s contributing to the economy, you can’t just take it. From my point of view, it would be given to people that would not know how to use it effectively. You don’t want to give something to someone if they won’t use it for any benefit. So, if they are using for agriculture, then they can be given that land, but if they aren’t going to use it, they should not get it.

Ozzie Abanno (BEng Mechanical Engineering)

First of all, do they have a criteria for giving this land away? Do they deserve to have the land taken away? There are african farmers that have already devoted their time to growing the land, they do deserve to be compensated in some amount. I do believe that it a major issue. You also can’t just take away someone’s land if it’s been with them for so long, that could be a source of livelihood. There is so much that relies on that land, you can’t just take it away from them, regardless of their actions. Some sort of compensation would be good.

Leigh Perumal (BCom Accounting Sciences)
In concept, it is okay, but the fact that there is no compensation, it is as if they are fixing a bad thing with another bad thing. They are correcting an injustice with an injustice. I don’t think it is fair, but the principle is okay.

Sergio Pereira (BCom Accounting Sciences)
There are a lot of issues surrounding it because you have to try and rectify previous injustices but, my issue is that they don’t consider when the land was purchased. A lot of farms have been purchased after the ANC took over, and if you are taking away the land from those people then you can’t blame them for anything. Whereas the family that took the land many years ago, they should probably give it back. Another issue is that maybe they did something wrong, the people today didn’t do anything and now they could be losing their house. Then they have no means of acquiring a new one, because no compensation.

David De Sousa (BEng Mechanical Engineering)
I don’t think it’s fair that they are going to give back the land without any compensation, because maybe the current owners bought the land from previous owners, and they won’t get any money for it now. Maybe there is heritage with that land and now you’re going to lose it and maybe your family has lived there for centuries, and now it’s no longer your land.

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