Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni
Premium Journalist
2 minute read
29 Jul 2019
6:30 am

‘Fundamentally racist’ land reform report faces ongoing opposition

Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni

The idea that white ownership of land is bad follows a 'selective approach to history', according to AfriForum.

Image: iStock

Groups opposing land expropriation without compensation are vowing to intensify their fight against the policy being enacted into law.

The final report by the Presidential Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture was released yesterday. While the report made a range of recommendations for government to expedite land reform outside of constitutional reform, the inclusion of a recommendation to amend the constitution raised the ire of many.

The Southern Africa Agri-Initiative said it was morally unjustifiable that individual landowners, who had legally bought properties, should foot the bill for land reform.

“It avoids any reference as to how agricultural financing as one of the cornerstones of competitive primary production in South Africa will be affected.

“Every farmer in SA runs the risk of losing a farm or two, but the banks can lose all the farms that serve as security for their product financing,” said the group’s chairperson, Dr Theo de Jager.

AfriForum vowed to intensify its national and international campaign to put pressure on government to abandon the policy. Deputy CEO Ernst Roets called the report “fundamentally racist”.

“The underlying message is that black ownership is good and white ownership is bad. To support this assumption, a selective approach to history and the facts is followed.”

The Democratic Alliance scathingly rejected the report.

“The DA will carefully study the full report with a view to tabling a comprehensive alternative, in keeping with our long-held position on advancing land reform without expropriation.

“We unequivocally support the legal and constitutionally outlined processes for land reform. However, the ANC cannot continue to pin its land reform failures of the past 25 years on the constitution,” the party said.

Agri-SA CEO Dan Kriek, who was on the panel, expressed disappointment with its outcomes. In a statement, Agri-SA warned economic ruin would certainly follow the implementation of the expropriation without compensation policy.

Omri van Zyl, Agri-SA executive director, added: “Food security for all South Africans will be compromised.”

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