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What happens after land reform, Mr Ramaphosa asks TLU SA- South Africa

TLU SA is deeply concerned after the release of the long-awaited report on land reform this weekend.



“The government and Mr Ramaphosa are allowing themselves to be led around by their noses by the masses without considering the long-term impact it will have on South Africa,” says Mr Louis Meintjes, the President of TLU SA. “The masses are adamant about an immediate solution about something for which there are no quick solutions.

“South Africa does not have the ability or capacity to implement the suggestions made by the land panel. But the expectation was created, and now the recommendations have to be enforced to satisfy the masses. Even though it will harm all South Africans and not just farmers and their workers,” says Mr Meintjes.

The agricultural community already objected to how the report was compiled after farmers were left out of the process. The input of farmer Nick Serfontein and chair of AgriSA, Dan Kriek – the only representatives of agriculture on the panel – was ignored in such a way they had to compile a minority report. TLU SA, representing commercial farmers, was not asked for any comments.

“Who speaks on behalf of the farmers who had no representation on the panel?” Mr Meintjes wants to know. “TLU SA has always seen economic principles as a priority in any discussion concerning transformation as the basis of successful farming.

“This process was not economically driven and will lead to a state-controlled environment where the initiative of entrepreneurs and investors is suffocated,” says Mr Meintjes. “The members of the panel worked towards a specific outcome to support personal relationships and opinions.”

The suggested process around the selection and choice of land recipients are also suspect and very clearly part of the ANC government’s outcome of total state control and specifically the control of the production and distribution of food.

“It is nothing less than the legal hijacking of land by the ANC-elite,” says Mr Meintjes. “Why else the suggestion to regulate where to plant products along with proposed taxation of farms where the farmers are already under pressure to keep their heads above water?”

The report focusses mainly on farms for expropriation, while 67% of the South African population is urbanised and their needs for housing and services are more urgent.

Commercial producers have to provide for the needs of city residents. The majority – almost 95% - of farms already signed over to the state failed and are non-productive. The chances of farms expropriated without compensation succeeding, are slim. How will South Africa meet the food needs of more than 50 million people?

AFRIKAANS 

TLU SA is diep bekommerd oor die rigting waarin Suid-Afrika ontwikkel, nadat die langverwagte verslag oor grondhervorming die naweek bekendgemaak is.

“Die regering en mnr. Ramaphosa laat hulle aan die neuse rondlei deur die massas sonder om die langtermyn impak op Suid-Afrika in ag te neem,” sê mnr. Louis Meintjes, die President van TLU SA. “Die massas eis ‘n onmiddellike oplossing vir iets waarvoor daar nie ‘n onmiddellike oplossing is nie.

“Suid-Afrika het eenvoudig nie die vermoë of kapasiteit om dit wat die taakspan voorstel, te implementeer nie. Maar die verwagting is geskep en nou moet die voorstelle eenvoudig afgedwing word om die massas tevrede te hou. Ten spyte daarvan dat dit ‘n negatiewe impak op elke Suid-Afrikaner sal hê en nie net op boere en hulle werkers nie,” sê mnr Meintjies.

Die landbougemeenskap het reeds vroeër kapsie gemaak oor die manier waarop die verslag saamgestel is nadat landbouers grootliks uit die proses gelaat is. Die boer Nick Serfontein en voorsitter van AgriSA, Dan Kriek – die enigste landbouverteenwoordigers op die paneel – se insette is in so ‘n mate opsy geskuif dat hulle ‘n minderheidsverslag saamgestel het. TLU SA, verteenwoordiger van kommersiële boere, is geensins om kommentaar genader nie.

“Wie praat namens al die boere wat nie verteenwoordiging in die paneel gehad het nie?” vra mnr. Meintjes. “TLU SA stel nog altyd ekonomiese beginsels voorop in enige gesprekke oor hervorming en as die basis vir suksesvolle landbou.

“Hierdie proses was beslis nie ekonomies gedrewe nie, maar stuur af op ‘n staatsbeheerde omgewing waarbinne die inisiatief van entrepreneurs en beleggers versmoor sal word,” sê mnr Meintjes. “Die samestelling van die taakspan het duidelik ‘n spesifieke uitkoms bewerkstellig as gevolg van die persoonlike verbintenisse en standpunte wat ondersteun word.”

Die voorgestelde proses rondom die keuring en kies van bevoordeeldes is onder verdenking en baie duidelik deel van die ANC-regering se uitkoms van totale staatsbeheer, en in besonder die beheer van die produksie en verspreiding van voedsel.

“Dit is niks anders as die wettiging van grondkaping deur die ANC-elite nie,” sê mnr. Meintjes. “Waarom anders die voorgestelde regulering oor watter produk waar geplant mag word, tesame met ‘n beplande grondbelasting vir plase waar boere reeds onder geweldige druk verkeer om kop bo water te hou?”

Die verslag fokus grootliks op plase vir onteiening, terwyl 67% van die Suid-Afrikaanse bevolking reeds verstedelik het en die behoefte vir behuising en dienste daar meer dringend is.

Kommersiële produsente moet in die voedselbehoeftes van stedelinge voorsien. Die oorgrote meerderheid – bykans 95% - van plase wat reeds deur die staat oorgedra is, het misluk en is uit produksie. Die kanse is skraal dat die plase wat onteien word sonder vergoeding, wel sal slaag. Hoe gaan Suid-Afrika dan in die voedselbehoeftes van meer as 50 miljoen mense voorsien?

“Deur net grond uit te deel, gaan beslis nie die ingewikkelde probleem van armoede – wat gesetel is in ‘n onopgeleide werkersklas as gevolg van ‘n swak skole en gebrekkige vaardigheidsontwikkeling – oplos nie,” sê mnr. Meintjes. “Werk eerder daaraan om ‘n ware klimaat vir ekonomiese welvaart te skep. Die proses sal net slaag indien daar aan ekonomiese beginsels voldoen word eerder as rasgedrewe politiek.

“As alles rondom grond klaar is, wat dan mnr. Ramaphosa?”

Die fokus vir werklike oplossings behoort te wees waar die grootste opbrengs met die kleinste inset is. Dit is om eerstens behuising te verskaf aan die stedelinge wat in onaanvaarbare omstandighede bly en om seker te maak dat daar ook in die voedselbehoeftes van hierdie groep voorsien word – wat uiteraard die taak van die kommersiële boer is.

“Die onverantwoordelikheid rondom hierdie verslag gaan ’n impak hê op alle burgers wat eiendom besit,” sê mnr. Meintjes. “Ons doen ‘n beroep op enige regslui wat besorg is oor die toekoms van Suid-Afrika om TLU SA te kontak. Ons het reeds voorsiening gemaak in die vorm van ‘n trustfonds om boere wie se grond teen hulle sin en onder markwaarde onteien word, by te staan.

“’n Verantwoordelike regering en sy amptenare sal ook nie ‘n Sondag gebruik om ’n verslag bekend te maak wat die potensiaal het om Suid-Afrika te vernietig nie. Verantwoordelike mense sal Sondag in die kerk wees om te bid vir Suid-Afrika,” sê Meintjes.

“The complicated problem of poverty – seated in an uneducated working class as a result of poor schooling and lacking skills development – will not be solved by handing out the land,” says Mr Meintjes. “Rather work on creating a real climate for economic prosperity. The process will only succeed if we follow economic principles instead of race-based politics.”

“When the land has been redistributed, what happens then, Mr Ramaphosa?”

Real solutions should be focussed on producing maximum yield with the lowest input. That is to provide housing for city residents living in unacceptable conditions and to provide for their food needs – the task of the commercial farmer.

“The irresponsibility around this report will have an impact on all property owners,” says Mr Meintjes. “We are calling on any law practitioners concerned about the future of South Africa to contact TLU SA. We have already made provision in the form of a trust fund to support farmers whose land is expropriated without their consent and below market-related prices.

“A responsible government will not choose a Sunday to release a report with the potential to ruin South Africa. Responsible people will be in church on Sunday praying for the country,” says Meintjes.


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