Land restitution without compensation
At our March Diversity Dialogue, the topic chosen was land restitution without compensation. We were a small group and as a result, Lungi facilitated this dialogue and I had the opportunity to participate. This feedback is the combined product of a facilitator’s point of view, as well as an interpretation through the lens of the voice of identity.
The voice of reparation expressed the need for white people to be held accountable for benefitting from the land in order for black people to start a healing process. Social grants were seen as pacifiers used by the government in power because they are incompetent to address the land issue. The voice of security spoke from the basis of equality of life and pointed out that there is a development barrier that is evident because of poor administration by the current government. This voice also expressed fear by white “bridge builders” because they get attacked from both sides. Identity felt that there is a strong link between identity and where we come from, as well as what we own. These make the land debate feel threatening because the debate seems to result in a diminishing of identity.
A longing for justice and a demand for fairness were both vented. The question “How does one appropriately express the anger evoked without being consumed by it?” lingered in the room…
Overall, there was an acknowledgement by whites that are trying to be bridge builders, that we have war on our hands if the land issue is not addressed, the need to pray for wisdom and tolerance as a nation, also a strong consensus that those white people that benefitted from previous land acts, who left the country for overseas, should also be required to pay restitution.