Debate from ROAPE Volume 12 Number 34
Agrarian Policy and Migration in Zimbabwe & Southern Africa
The stimulating paper by Ray Bush and Lionel Cliffe in ROAPE 29 (see link below) raises some crucial issues about the efficacy of land reform policies in Zimbabwe and, indeed all southern Africa's migrant labour societies. These countries are characterised by a colonial inheritance of two agricultures - a large scale white-dominated capitalist sector, and an underdeveloped black peasant sector producing cheap labour power for the rest of the economy rather than agricultural commodities Nevertheless corporate capital has long sought to stabilise a sector of the black workforce by ending migrant labour and enabling permanent urban residence. On the other hand, since migrant labour is such a powerful symbol of capitalist exploitation to the black oppressed, its abolition has frequently been assumed essential for post-liberation social transformation.