Gee, who could have possibly anticipated that threatening to steal (that is, expropriate without compensation) land from farmers who have worked it for generations would cause farmers to cut back on planting, cultivating, harvesting, or shipping crops? Thus, we have Bloomberg telling us, “South Africa’s economy unexpectedly shrank for the second consecutive quarter in the three months through June.”
The recession, based on a second-quarter decline in GDP of 0.8%, is entirely due to a steep decline in agricultural production: “the agriculture market fell back by 29.2 per cent, taking 0.8 per cent off GDP.”
This was entirely predictable. Half a year ago, I warned that with expropriation of white farmers, South Africa is embarking on a course headed toward disaster:
The former Rhodesia turned itself from the breadbasket of Africa, a major exporter of staple grains, into a country on the perpetual verge of mass starvation by expropriating and often murdering white farmers and giving land to cronies of President Mugabe, who were not capable of stewardship. The same thing happened to other elements of the economy as well, all based in getting even for racial grievances of the past.
Venetia Joubert Sarah Oosterveld photographed the results of Zimbabwe’s land reform and descent into socialism and wrote in 2009:
Crops are falling and there is a drought coming very soon. 33% of the population of Zimbabwe has AIDS.
There is no indication that this first step toward poverty will change any minds in South Africa. Much as in Venezuela, we must watch in sadness as the fantasy economics of the left destroys wealth in the name of social justice and a nation ends up in starvation and poverty.