Fri 9th Mar 2018

ANC backs call to take back white-owned land without compensation

The African National Congress and South Africa’s parliament have voted in favour of a motion that will begin the process of amending the country’s Constitution to allow for the confiscation of white-owned land without compensation.

The motion was brought by Julius Malema, leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters, who told MPs: “We must ensure that we restore the dignity of our people without compensating the criminals who stole our land. The time for reconciliation is over. Now is the time for justice.”

Now is the time for justice, too, for the people of SVG.

Paramount Chief Joseph Chatoyer was slain by white men while fighting to protect our lands. He must be turning in his grave now that the unpatriotic ULP regime is selling-off hundreds of acres of SVG land to foreigners.

Many Vincentians have expressed their deep concern about land in SVG being sold to foreigners. They say that this will make it harder for their children and grandchildren to buy land in SVG and that Vincentian children are being pushed out of their own country.

Julius Malema said “If the grandchildren of Jan Van Riebeeck (Dutch coloniser who arrived in South Africa in 1650) have not understood that we need our land, that over and above it’s about our dignity then they have failed to receive the gift of humanity. We do not seek revenge.”

Super-rich, white foreigners buying up land in SVG, have to understand that the land of SVG belongs to Vincentian children and grandchildren and future generations of Vincentians.

A 2017 land audit report by the department of land reform in South Africa states 72% of land in South Africa is owned by white owners, followed by coloureds (people of mixed race) at 15%, Indians at 5% and blacks at 4%. This is obscene given that the racial make-up of South Africa is 80.2% Black, 8.8% Coloured, 8.4% White and 2.5% Asian.

There has been a huge land grab by foreigners of lands in SVG. This must stop or else there will be hardly any land left for future generations of Vincentians. The following are examples of land grabs by foreigners in SVG:

1. Mustique – the authenticity of the original sale of the island is highly dubious and questionable. Vincentians are denied access to some beaches and it is illegal for SVG local fishermen to fish in the sea around Mustique.
2. A large part of Canouan – denying Vincentians access to large parts of the island and some beaches. More seriously, there is significant environmental damage done to the land space in Canouan.
3. Petit St. Vincent - the authenticity of the original sale of the island is highly dubious and questionable. The ownership of Petit St. Vincent needs to be sorted out.
4. Palm island - own by foreigners. Ownership needs to be sorted out.
5. Hundreds of acres of land sold in South Leeward in the Buccament area to foreigners – taking away precious agricultural lands and endangering the food security of our people and forcing Vincentians off their land.
6. Hundreds of acres of land sold in Mount Wynne, Central Leeward to foreigners at a significantly knocked-down price of EC$4.5 per square foot. Vincentians were not offered the opportunity to buy these lands in Mount Wynne at EC$4.5 dollars. This was totally unacceptable.
7. Hundreds of acres of land in Bequia have been sold to foreigners – Vincentians were not offered the opportunity to buy these lands.

In SVG, we are losing our country to foreigners at a very fast rate. Like the Aborigines in Australia, the indigenous people in SVG are being trampled on and rich foreigners are taking over our country.

The ruling African National Congress and new president Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, have made “land expropriation without compensation for equal distribution” a key pillar of their policy platform in February 2018.

A Green government would take back the land sold to foreigners and distribute it to the people of SVG. SVG Green Party believes that we must ban the sale of lands to foreigners, as is the case in Georgia, Cuba, Thailand, Singapore, Sri Lanka and many other countries.

We need address the land injustice of more than 300 years of colonialism and economic apartheid. We should follow the example of South Africa.

< Back to Articles