The issue of land in South Africa is a bone of contention, and it raises some deep-seated feelings of uneasiness. Some say it is one area to tread with the utmost caution, others say the sooner it is dealt with the better. And it is the latter option that South Africa has decided to take, raising some fears for those who are not going to benefit from it.
After Australian Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said that he was considering giving fast-track visas to white South African farmers on humanitarian grounds, sensitive feelings seem to have been evoked. This follows the move by South Africa to expropriate land from white farmers without compensation in order to redress the imbalances that exist in the country which glaringly disadvantage the black South Africans from having access to the country's means of production.
This, and fears of white farmers being killed prompted the Australian minister to utter such remarks. But South Africa has been swift to rubbish such assertions. Well, they say it is ridiculous. Government spokesman Ndivhuwo Mabaya revealed to the BBC that there was no reason for any country in the world to suspect a section of the South African population was in danger from its democratically elected leaders.
"There's no need for anyone to be scared or to fear anything," he said. "The land redistribution programme will be done according to the law. We want to say to our friends across the world that there's no need to panic. We remain a united nation here in South Africa - both black and white".
The insinuation from Peter Dutton seems to have stirred a hornet's nest. He said that white South African farmers need protection offered by "a civilized country" like Australia. These are just the kind of statements that will raise the anger of South Africans, ostensibly.
The idea that white South Africans are under siege from their black counterparts in a democratic state is preposterous - that is the general feeling in South Africa. Blacks are evidently disadvantaged when it comes to land ownership, and the whole world is watching, looking at how the country will resolve these inequalities.