When South Africa eventually emerges from the fog of the Covid-19 crisis, will policy makers be ready to grasp the nettle of farm scale, and promote the large-scale redistribution of land to small-scale producers?
Most media coverage of Zimbabwe unthinkingly repeats and reinforces a Western and neoliberal perception of the history and causes of that country's political and economic crisis. The dominant view is that "socialism" explains Zimbabwe's economic collapse and political repression.
Lulu Xingwana, the new Minister of Agriculture and Land Affairs, faces enormous challenges. Policies to sustain a productive agricultural sector must contend with a global trade regime that is profoundly unequal and privileges the protected producers of the North. There has been little progress in levelling this playing field.
''The more that policy changes in South Africa, the more it is the same.'' These words are from Govan Mbeki's seminal book on rural resistance, The Peasants' Revolt. In the post-apartheid era white domination and its crippling legacies are under attack from progressive government policies, and Mbeki's words no longer apply.