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Lack of land reform fuels inequality in SA – Piketty

Author: Rene Vollgraaff

Johannesburg – Thomas Piketty, the French economist specialising in wealth and inequality, said a lack of large-scale, forced land redistribution in South Africa from the rich to the poor has fuelled one of the world’s widest income gaps.

“Many successful development experiences in Europe and also in Asia did at some point in their trajectory use land reform and other forms of direct redistribution of property much more than South Africa did,” Piketty said in an interview on Thursday in Johannesburg.

“You never had this kind of big phase of redistribution of property and probably that explains why the legacy of apartheid is still very much there in terms of inequality.”
More than two decades after the end of white minority rule, racial inequality is still stark in South Africa. Black South Africans, who make up about 80% of the population of 55 million, on average earn a sixth of what white citizens do, according to census data.

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