News / South Africa

Alex Japho Matlala
2 minute read
14 Aug 2018
6:00 am

Limpopo premier calls for calm after TAU urges defence of farms

Alex Japho Matlala

The Transvaal Agricultural Union (TAU) 'believes the expropriation of land without compensation is tantamount to theft' and farmers must resist.

Cows walk between crops on a farm near Bothaville on May 16, 2018. Picture: AFP PHOTO

“There is no need for panic” is Limpopo Premier Stan Mathabatha’s message to farmers nationwide, adding that the TAU’s call to fight expropriation of farms without compensation is disappointing.

Over the weekend, the union called on farmers whose land has been targeted for expropriation not to budge when it finally happens.

A decision to expropriate land without compensation was taken by the ANC during the party’s elective conference in December 2017.

Last week, a report indicating that 139 farms had been identified to serve as test cases for expropriation of land was leaked.

TAU SA North chairperson Henk van der Graaf said the union would dispute the expropriation of any land in Limpopo. It would also question the legality of the amendment of section 25 of the constitution to facilitate this.

“Our union believes the expropriation of land without compensation is tantamount to theft.

“We urge the farmers identified to defend their land by signing the dispute document that the union is going to hand to government,” said Graaf.

Yesterday, during an ANC lekgotla in Mokopane, outside Polokwane, Mathabatha called on heads of departments, chief executives of government parastatals and ANC leaders across the province not to be shaken by the TAU’s calls.

He said the ANC was working on communicating in a bid to ease the tension between the union and government.

“The ANC lekgotla called on government to urgently initiate the process to finalise the modalities for the implementation of the national conference resolution to expropriate land without compensation.

“This was considered as one of the key mechanisms available to government to effect land reform and redistribution.

“The national executive committee emphasised the need to ensure the implementation of the resolution is done in a manner that ensures food security and greater agricultural output.

“It must also complement the effort to attract investment and economic growth,” said Mathabatha.

“We will, however, continue to engage them [the farmers and TAU] in an effort to give birth to a smooth transition.”

The Democratic Alliance called the expropriation without compensation plan an ANC election gimmick.

The party said the ANC was trying to increase its support ahead of the 2019 government elections.

ALSO READ: West Rand property owner to be ‘directly affected by land expropriation’ speaks out

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