#RandReport: Rand slips after Trump land reform tweet, stocks up

Hugh Fox
August 24, 2018

Carlson presented a segment criticizing the Trump administration for not addressing South Africa's plans to amend its constitution in order to allow the expropriation of land owned by white farmers.

Lindiwe Sisulu, the South African foreign minister, said Mr Trump's tweet had been based on false information and urged Washington to...

Since worldwide affairs now takes place on Twitter, the South African government responded with a tweet of its own, rejecting Trump's "narrow perception" and promising land reform in an "inclusive manner".

South Africa's foreign ministry will seek clarification of Mr Trump's comments from the USA embassy in Pretoria, President Cyril Ramaphosa's spokeswoman said, adding that Mr Trump was "misinformed".

The South African government insists that its land redistribution measures are not about invading and seizing land but about expanding opportunities for black South Africans to take over agricultural land that is now lying fallow.

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But South Africa's government said it was ridiculous to suggest white farmers were being persecuted. Right now, with just 4 percent of farmland owned by black farmers, they have a long way to go.

"Trump's statement is really about American politics, it's not about South African politics", says Chris Vandome, a Southern Africa expert at Chatham House, a think tank. The restriction tightened during the apartheid era, as the governing National Party created desolate "homelands" for black people.

The proposed seizure of land is a concern to many in South Africa, especially given the fact that the country's economy is in recession, and the issue will most likely become an even one bigger closer to next year's election. They warn that white farmers are not only at risk of losing their land but are also targeted for violence.

It's not clear what the Trump administration could, or would, do to get involved in South Africa's land controversy - especially considering that the USA has not had an ambassador to the country since December 2016 because Trump has not yet appointed anyone to the post.

President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers his State of the Nation address at Parliament in Cape Town, South Africa, February 16, 2018.

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"We are aware of these reports and have been following this issue very closely for some time".

The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment about whether it has begun studying the issue.

She was also asked if Pompeo corrected some of Trump's views or explained what was actually happening in South Africa.

The rand currency dropped more than 1.5 per cent against the United States dollar in early trade on Thursday after Mr Trump's tweet had circulated in South Africa.

No. The constitution has not yet been changed and since 1994 the ANC has been following a willing-buyer-willing-seller module to redistribute land. The reasons for those laws lie in South Africa's history.

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Critics of expropriation without compensation have pointed to neighbouring Zimbabwe, which saw some violent attacks on white farmers, alongside the seizure of their land, which has been widely blamed for the the country's economic collapse. Over on r/The_Donald, Reddit's pro-Trump forum, the tweet was celebrated.

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