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Changing face of racial land ownership in South Africa

A new survey shows that racial patterns of land ownership in South Africa are changing, adding to the already fierce debate over whether the country should adopt Zimbabwe-style forced land grabs from white farmers.

The long period of colonialisation and conquest resulted in indigenous people losing ground to European settlers and their descendants. The gap between landless blacks and property-owning whites widened during aparthied, becoming entrenched during the almost half century that white rule lasted.

Today, as apartheid fades in the rear-view mirror, land ownership is still visibly divided along racial lines, with mostly blacks living in hardscrabble settlements around towns and cities, while whites mostly live in sprawling suburban neighbourhoods or on thriving commercial farms.

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