One of the many pockets of our post-94 history I would have never found out about had I not been mindlessly wasting hours on a YouTube algorithm worm-hole:
In 1996 Nelson Mandela signed an agreement with the Mozambican government to resettle a group of about a thousand white farmers to northern Mozambique. The project, a brainchild of White right-wing Afrikaners, was a joint venture between the South African Chamber of Development of Agriculture in Africa (SACADA) and Mosagrius. A 50 year lease on Fertile farming land was to be given to White farmers for almost free. Mozambique was the pilot, if successful, the project would have been expanded to other Southern African countries. I never got to find out if the project was a success (most of the articles written about it were behind a paywall or in Portuguese which I’m only about 20% proficient in) but I do remember watching a documentary on SABC 2 a few years ago about a group of ‘Enterprising’ White farmers resettling in the DRC.
Makes one wonder who really benefited from the negotiated settlement.
Below are a few articles that shine more light the agreement, read ’em and weep.
In Mozambique’s Nissan province, the best agricultural land is to be leased in concession to the Afrikaners for fifty years. At the token price of some $0.15 per hectare per annum, the land lease is a give-away. Through the establishment of Mosagrius (a joint venture company), SACADA is now firmly established in the fertile valley of the Lugenda river. But the Boers also have their eyes on agricultural areas along the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers as well as on the road and railway facilities linking Lichinga, Niassa’s capital to the deep seaport of Nagala. The railway line is being rehabilitated and modernized (by a French contractor) with development aid provided by France…
According to Jordaan, about 1 000 people, disillusioned with the new South Africa, are poised to trek to Mozambique. One, Egbert Hiemstra, cites affirmative action, trade unions, new land legislation and drought in South Africa as reasons to invest and farm in neighbouring states.
Not that it’s going to cost much hard cash to farm across the border. He says Mozambique will lease land to the farmers at 60 cents per hectare per year, if not give it away for free. He said negotiations with President Mandela are under way to allow the farmers to have dual citizenship and continue to vote in South African elections…
Six kilometres away, in the mud-and-straw village of Lucheringo, a group of men talks to a community worker. “We’ve had the Portuguese and the Chinese as neighbours, but the South Africans are the weirdest,” they chuckle.
They say the settlers never give them a lift into town. They only come to the village to buy goats. When they do, they don’t get out of the car: they beckon, negotiate a price, pay and go. Their feet never touch our soil, their skin never touches ours, says one.
From biscuits to tea, by plane, car or truck, the settlers bring all their supplies. “They only buy kapulanas (African cloth). Or the odd bag of sugar if they’ve run out of stock,” says shopkeeper Abdullah Amad Mussa.
In July two South African families arrived in Sanga district and one in Majune district. They occupied peasant land and evicted local farmers, showing maps issued by Sacada (South African Chamber of Development of Agriculture in Africa). Peasants complained to the local chiefs, who informed district administrators who told the governor. In mid-August, Governor Aires Bonafacio Aly went to both Sanga and Majune where he said the presence of the South Africans was a total violation of the agreement. He ordered an immediate halt to land clearing and to any further settlements.