Just 18 months ago, the drive towards land expropriation without compensation (EWC) seemed unstoppable. At the 2017 party leadership conference, Cyril Ramaphosa and the ANC moderates were blindsided by Jacob Zuma and the Radical Economic Transformation (RET) zealots.
After an intensely emotional debate, the Ramaphosa faction had forced upon it a poisoned chalice – a policy commitment to EWC which, if implemented, would on previous experience, beggar the nation. Ramaphosa then appeared to have a change of heart.
Instead of digging in his heels, he became an enthusiastic EWC proponent, which he said would be executed “differently” from Zimbabwe’s chaotic land grabs.