South Africa Proposes Land Seizures to Add to List of Problems

South Africa’s ruling African National Congress has proposed a constitutional change to allow land seizures without payments.

This will trigger conflict between the government and commercial farmers and the opposition. During apartheid land was taken from millions among the black majority.

When Nelson Mandela took power in South Africa in 1994, 87 percent of the country’s land was owned by whites. Whites were ten percent of the population in South Africa. A 2017 government audit reported that 72 percent of the nation’s private farmland is owned by white people, who make up 9 percent of the population.

There are about 4.5 million white South Africans and various estimates show about 23,000 to 30,000 leaving every year. The South African population living outside of South Africa will surpass 1 million within about 5 years.

South Africa’s population will be just short of 60 million in 2020 and 8 million of the population lives with HIV.

Power and Airline Problems

South Africa has a war room where they are trying avoid another length blackout which will worsen an already weak economy. There was a nine-day outage earlier in the month. Debt-ridden Eskom Holdings SOC is struggling to meet demand for electricity because of its failure to properly maintain aging plants and invest in new ones.

South Africa had a war room in December 2014 to deal with electricity shortages that contributed to an economic contraction in the second quarter of the following year. They had the goal of improving power maintenance and debt-collection processes.

South African debt is currently rated at BB by Standard & Poors. This is two levels below investment grade. They will drop a further grade at the next readjustment.

The power outages and other problems are forcing mines to close.

State-owned South African Airways (SAA) has been placed into business rescue – South Africa’s bankruptcy protection process.