‘List’ of farms to be allegedly expropriated has Limpopo farmers on edge

Anxiety is mounting among landowners after AfriForum released an alleged list of farms and land to be expropriated without compensation.

Limpopo leader of the Freedom Front Plus party Marcelle Maritz confirmed to Bosveld Review that there are nine farms earmarked for expropriation in Limpopo.

“I spoke to four farmers in the area whose farms are on the list, but they do not want to make their findings public yet. The farmers are worried and anxious for the future. One of the farmers wanted to develop and expand his farm, but says that is no longer possible. He has had to put everything on hold. Unfortunately, no one can assure them of what the future holds.

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“My advice to farmers is to ensure that they are contactable by emergency services and land safety groups, and that they have their neighbours’ contact numbers and locations. Make sure that your family knows what to do in emergency situations.”

According to Ernst Roets of AfriForum, minister of land development and reform Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said they put together a list of 139 farms earmarked for land expropriation without compensation. This has become a hotly contested debate.

According to Roets, AfriForum is adamant that the list, which was only known to the department of rural development and land reform, be made public.

“The list does not consist of just 139 farms, but 200 that have been identified. AfriForum is spurring farmers on to contact us. If you or someone you know has a farm on the list, contact AfriForum, so that farmers can work together to work on taking legal action.”

AgriSA are questioning the legitimacy of the list, they said in a media briefing on Monday, adding that making the list public was irresponsible.

“We are busy working on verifying the trustworthiness of the list of farms. It is irresponsible of AfriForum to publish the list, as it is unverified,” president of AgriSA Dan Kriek said.

According to AgriSA, a snap survey of the list exposed its inaccuracy, which could have been legitimised before it was made public. Investigations conducted by AfriSA’s affiliations show that some farms on the list are those belonging to black farmers with joint procurement.

AfriForum CEO Kallie Kriel responded to AgriSA’s press release, and said AgriSA must insist on clarification from the minister. He claims AgriSA is standing by the minister’s plan to keep the list secret, which is “tragic”.

“The minister does not want to make the list of farms public, and as such, farm owners cannot prepare to take legal action. AfriForum has used the list as an arsenal for farmers by making it public.”

Chairperson of TLU SA North Henk van de Graaf said farmers whose land has been earmarked for expropriation were those whose properties were currently trading lower than market value, but that they should refuse to give up their land, as it was nothing short of a crime to have it seized.

According to Van de Graaf, farmers must decide as one to resist any attempts at expropriation, because neither they nor their ancestors stole any land or did anything illegal.

“This strong sentiment was adopted before farmers were made aware that their properties could be on the expropriation list. Farmers see expropriation as malevolent and a declaration of war, and that government must realise that they are playing with fire or risk igniting an explosive situation, to which no one will emerge advantageous.”

Van de Graaf said the situation required more social cohesion regarding expropriation.

“TLU SA North will start declaring a dispute against government to expropriate farmland in Limpopo, as well as start a dispute regarding the legality of the Constitution to condone crime.

“We ask that all landowners support and stand by the dispute.”

Leader of the Freedom Front Plus Dr Pieter Groenewald said he was doing everything he could with the minister to make the list public as soon as possible, so landowners gain a sense of security regarding expropriation.

“The leaked list made public by AfriForum has created anxiety, confusion and unrest among farmers whose land appeared on the list. It cannot be expected that farmers invest large amounts of input costs if they stand to lose everything.”

This article was translated from Afrikaans. Read the original article here.

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