We have repeatedly warned that custodianship of land was the likely endgame of the drive on property rights.
Daily Friend – 1 June 2021
South Africans are warned to take note of the grave implications of the proposals put forward by the ANC for amending Section 25 of the Constitution, which would not only sideline the courts in expropriation cases, but would explicitly push nationalisation of land, says the Institute of Race Relations (IRR).
The ruling party has proposed that the following words be introduced: ‘The state must take reasonable legislative and other measures, within its available resources, to foster conditions which enable state custodianship of land and for citizens to gain access to land on an equitable basis.’
The IRR warned in a statement that the effect of this would be to entrench nationalisation of land within the Bill of Rights, with legislation to define the exact terms.
‘This is concerning in the extreme, but not surprising at all. We at the Institute have repeatedly warned that custodianship of land was the likely endgame of the drive on property rights. It has precedents in legislation on water and mineral resources and has repeatedly been propounded by figures in the ANC and in official documents.’
The statement points out that the Expropriation Bill seeks to turn the legal reasoning of the Agri SA case – which distinguished between expropriation and custodianship, essentially vaporising property rights in the latter case – into a general principle of law.
‘State custodianship of land would also align well with the ideological leanings of the ANC (something that is all too often not understood), and with the statist thrust of policy more generally.
‘Our warnings have often been dismissed as outlandish and alarmist. The ‘reformist’ administration of President Ramaphosa would never do this, it was averred.’
The statement adds: ‘If anything positive is to come of this turn of events, it would be for South Africans to understand the nature and gravity of the threat facing the country. The real question is perhaps how South Africa’s people, and its business community, will respond.’
Readers are encouraged to endorse the IRR’s stand against the drive to undermine property rights here.