The ANC and Agri SA had a productive and fruitful discussion on various issues pertaining to the agricultural sector. More than 200 members, which included farmer representatives from Agri SA’s provincial, commodity and corporate chambers were present. Members had the opportunity to voice their concerns regarding the agricultural sector to the leadership of the ANC.
The ANC is encouraged by the spirit of cooperation from the farming community, we believe only through dialogue can sustainable solutions to the most difficult questions be found.
The ANC is particularly interested in creating an inclusive economy, with land being a key part of the economy.
The Land Bank has been operating very successfully and the ANC wishes to see all loans being successfully repaid, as such the banking sector is very important in the process.
The question of property rights is central to this. This right is not under threat. ANC position on land expropriation without compensation is for specific circumstances in the land reform process. This is aimed at supporting open commerce and certainty.
Alex Mitchley, News24
The ANC is not planning on expropriating all land without compensation as expropriation in this manner will only be carried out in specific circumstances.
This is what an ANC delegation said during a press briefing in Centurion on Friday following a meeting between the ANC and AgriSA on land expropriation.
ANC election head Fikile Mbalula, who led the ANC delegation, said that property rights in South Africa were not under threat, and that there was no intention to grab land.
“[The] ANC position on expropriation without compensation is for specific circumstances in the land reform process. This is aimed at supporting open commerce and certainty,” Mbalula said.
Chairperson of the ANC’s subcommittee on economic transformation Enoch Godongwana echoed these sentiments.
“We then say, in certain circumstances we will not pay compensation, we are not saying in all circumstances we will not pay compensation,” Godongwana said.
The ANC delegation also clearly stated that the party’s policies were not aligned with those of the EFF on land nationalisation.
“One thing that is not going to happen is to nationalise land. We are not in support of government controlling lives and commerce in that way. Commerce ought to be free with requisite regulations in place,” said Mbalula.
Banking sector fears allayed
He added that land would be expropriated and redistributed in a manner that would not affect productivity or the economy and that the plan was to strengthen and grow the economy through land reform.
Godongwana also gave insight on land that may be targeted, saying that land belonging to the state, speculative, underutilised and vandalised land would be looked at for expropriation without compensation.
He said these were still ideas and that the ANC had not yet formalised its position.
Mbalula also tackled fears that the banking sector would take a knock if bonded land was expropriated.
“We are alive to the importance of keeping the world-class banking system undisturbed. We may have a situation where land has been bonded with a bank loan, banking must not find itself collapsing as a result of our efforts to democratise land ownership.
“What we are clear about is land will be de-monopolised, land will be made to be constitutional.”
‘Land access is coming’
The meeting between the ANC and AgriSA and some of its farmers was held behind closed doors, but was a fruitful and productive discussion, according to Mbalula and AgriSA president Dan Kriek.
“This engagement with the ANC is of immeasurable value, we are optimistic about the future of a sustainable agricultural sector in South Africa,” said Dan Kriek.
“I feel that the ANC heard our concerns and will take it into consideration for the path ahead.”
Godongwana said that farmers raised their concerns around the issue but said it was a frank and honest discussion. He added that some of the submissions were emotive, with one farmer stating that he sold his livestock after the ANC announced its intentions to expropriate land without compensation.
Mbalula welcomed the meeting and engagement, saying that land distribution could not happen without all stakeholders participating in the efforts to rebuild the country.
“We want to assure our people, black and white, that land access is coming. We want to assure stakeholders, farmers and all that land distribution will happen.”
A “classic banking crisis” can be triggered by the amendment of Section 25 of the Constitution, Nedbank CEO Mike Brown told the Joint Constitutional Review Committee on Friday.
The committee was listening to oral presentations in Parliament on whether an amendment of the section was necessary for the expropriation of land without compensation.
Brown said the Constitution should not be used as a “scapegoat” for the government’s failure to effect land reform.
He said land reform should be done in an orderly, pragmatic and sustainable manner to avoid the creation of a systemic risk to the banking sector.
He also pointed out that the Constitution already struck a “careful and well-considered” balance between the protection of property rights and redress.
“The Constitution has not been an impediment to land reform.”
Brown and Tanya Cohen of Business Unity South Africa said international investors were preoccupied with the land issue in South Africa.
“I can assure you the uncertainty around the outcome (of the constitutional review) is already impacting investor confidence,” Brown said.