The decision of the ANC government to go ahead with changes to Section 25 of the Constitution – which relates to expropriation without compensation – is short-sighted, according to South African farmers’ union, TLU SA.
A motion about the ad hoc committee which will initiate and introduce this legislation, was today approved by the National Assembly. The committee will continue where the fifth parliament ended in December 2018 and has to give feedback to the National Assembly by the end of March 2020.
“Expropriation without compensation will not deliver any good results,” says Mr Louis Meintjes, the President of TLU SA. “Research shows most of the applicants do not have the knowledge or capacity to sustainably manage the land, which at the moment contributes significantly to the rural and national economy. In most cases, they would instead opt to be financially compensated than to be in charge of the land.
“The past has shown us most of the land previously expropriated now lies barren because the government did not care enough to support the new owners to manage the land successfully.”
TLU SA believes that it is hugely irresponsible to go ahead with these amendments. Not only will it have a direct effect on farmers, their workers and the rural parts of the country, but also on the confidence foreign investors have in the future of the country.
“When an investor’s private ownership is implicated, it will naturally not be wise for them to invest their assets there,” says Mr Meintjies.
“These types of decisions also have an effect on the safety of farmers with supporters of Andile Mngxitama of the BLF and like-minded people being swept up by the process and taking the law into their own hands.
“Just last week President Ramaphosa said he condemns farm murders, but today his government makes decisions which contradicts it completely.”