Expropriation won’t speed up land reform – Agri SA

Farmers cannot be held solely responsible for historical events that resulted in the dispossession of land, Annelize Crosby, head of land affairs at Agri SA, told a parliamentary committee on Wednesday, 24 March.

Expropriation won’t speed up land reform – Agri SA
Several farming and business organisations were among the entities that recently made oral submissions to the portfolio committee on public works and infrastructure on the proposed Expropriation Bill.
Photo: FW Archive
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Farmers cannot be held solely responsible for historical events that resulted in the dispossession of land, Annelize Crosby, head of land affairs at Agri SA, told a parliamentary committee on Wednesday, 24 March.

Agri SA was one of several organisations delivering oral submissions to the portfolio committee on public works and infrastructure on the proposed Expropriation Bill, which would provide for certain instances where expropriation with nil compensation could be deemed appropriate to the public interest.

Crosby said Agri SA acknowledged that the apartheid-era dispossession of land caused deep emotional wounds and hardship.

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“However, today’s farmers cannot be required to bear the burden of addressing [the apartheid-era] dispossession. It needs to be done in an orderly and sustainable manner that is also fair towards the current land owners.”

She also said expropriation would not significantly speed up land reform, and would also not make land reform more affordable. “Inequity should rather be addressed through future and solution-driven conversation,” said Crosby.

Bongiwe Kunene of the Banking Association of South Africa (BASA) said in her presentation that the Expropriation Bill could discourage local and international investment, and result in capital flight should investors incur losses due to expropriation at below market value.

“If we have insecure property rights and policy uncertainty, the result of that will be retarding investments and economic development, which is critical to tackling employment, poverty and inequality.”

She stressed that expropriation at nil compensation, if not done according to the confines of the Constitution and a law of general application, could create systemic risk for the South African banking system and the country alike.

In a joint presentation, Agbiz and Business Unity South Africa said that the organisations were broadly supportive of the Bill, but expressed concern about the impact which the nil compensation provision could have on investor confidence and finance.

Jeandré Du Preez is the newest addition to the Farmer’s Weekly team. Originating from a Riversdal farming family, she has farming in her blood. After school she furthered her studies at Stellenbosch and has been working as an agricultural journalist for the past two years. She says she feels privileged to write about an industry paramount to the survival of all South Africans and is inspired by the innovative solutions with which the farming community bridges the many challenges they face. She enjoys being able to combine work with travel and appreciates the modesty and friendliness with which South Africa’s farmers share their accomplishments. She enjoys being able to combine work with travel and appreciates the modesty and friendliness with which South Africa’s farmers share their accomplishments. If she is not writing or visiting farms, you’ll find her relaxing with a good mystery novel or exploring her other passions: travelling and cooking.