- There have already been over 4000 farmers that have been taken into Government custody prior to the rise of the Expropriation Without Compensation policy
- Agri EC president has highlighted that there have been numerous, successful, black farmers who acquired their lad through the free market system
- He also highlighted that there are other policies, besides the Constitution, which protect peoples land from just being taken
More than 4000 farmers have already been handed into the hands of government and are awaiting their verdict on the redistribution. There have been a couple cases that have already been started prior to the Expropriation Without Compensation (EWC) policy.
According to Agri EC president, Doug Stern, major stumbling blocks to EWC are that of the Constitution, which protects the rights of all landowners in the country.
“Land grabs are not a fait accompli, no matter what anyone says to the contrary.”
“The Constitution cannot be amended on a political whim. It is a lengthy and arduous process, which would take years to achieve,” he said, adding that vote garnering ahead of next year’s general elections had much to do with the issue being brought to the fore.”
“We have an election looming. It has to be borne in mind that the issue, while certainly contentious, is actually the perfect political platform from which to garner votes.”
“For example, before the previous general elections the matter of farmers having to give 50% of their farms to their employees was on the table, but nothing came of that – other than getting farmers into a flat spin.”
“The whole EWC, in my opinion is yet another attempt at vote capturing before next year’s elections. I am predicting that this attempt at amending section 25 of the Constitution will not succeed.”
Stern also highlighted that there is a policy document which is currently in place that still requires public input.
Therefore, the International Human Rights Commission will have to monitor developments closely, especially as the government cannot just take away people’s right to own land.
“It is very easy for farmers to adopt a take-up-arms mindset, but this has to change as does the negativity surrounding land expropriation.”
“Even in the unlikely event that it did become reality, have the politicians given any thought to what would happen to the land once expropriated? To whom would it be given? Who would be responsible for the debt owed on any given piece of land or farm?”
“As it is, the state is sitting with around 4,000 farms in its possession which are unproductive – the question is why more farms are needed. This unproductive land could certainly be put to use.”
Briefly.co.za learnt that the economic impact of “taking” land away could be detrimental.
“Food and employment security would be dealt a bitter blow and, as a consequence, the poor would be worst affected by the outcome of such an irresponsible act.”
Stern also pointed out that there were already many cases of very successful black commercial farmers who attained their land through the free market system.
“With the assistance of organized agriculture and the private sector, the government needs to be convinced that there are models that will work to successfully advance the State’s land reform program.”
“I want to appeal to fellow farmers not to panic and do anything irresponsible. To date, there is nothing on the table for anyone to be concerned about.”
“Please look at all the positives surrounding you, such as comparatively low interest rates, and leave this one possible negative matter for elected representatives to deal with on your behalf.”
“Farmers must carry on doing what they do best – that is to produce food for our country, while enjoying your farming. We must not take this bait.”
Expropriation Without Compensation policy has raised a lot of concern and a lot of people are fearing that there will be an outcome the same that was experienced by Zimbabwe, if government does not look at all the pressing points.
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