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  • At a land indaba on 3 October City Press and Rapport will bring decision-makers together in Johannesburg to critically evaluate land reform since 1994 and examine solutions to the political and economic challenges that we as a nation face.

  • In 1993, President Cyril Ramaphosa, who was then secretary-general of the ANC, spoke at the Land Redistribution Options Conference in Johannesburg, where a future plan for land reform was being thrashed out. He said in his opening remarks:

    "The massively unequal distribution of land is not merely an unfortunate legacy of apartheid; it is the totally unacceptable continuation of apartheid."

  • The ANC has asked a black farmers' association to assist the state identify deserving beneficiaries of land expropriation without compensation.

    The party met with the African Farmers' Association of SA (Afasa), which represents black farmers, on Wednesday in Kempton Park, Ekurhuleni.

  • This morning President Cyril Ramaphosa tabled the government’s economic stimulus and recovery plan. The plan entails a range of measures covering a number of sectors, which will be implemented immediately. This is aimed at igniting economic activity, restoring investor confidence, preventing further job losses and creating new jobs.

  • "The advisory panel appointed by the president, mr Cyril Ramaphosa, to support and advise the Interministerial Committee on Land Reform has a very difficult task to provide, on the one hand, certain perspectives and models of land policy to the Committee within the context of the sustained inequality in land ownership in the country and in the light of unsatisfactory land and agricultural reform in recent years. 

  • In the State of the Nation Address in February, we announced a range of measures that we would initiate to set the country on a new path of growth, employment and transformation. 

  • The Institute of Race Relations has published the findings of its latest survey,looking specifically at what the voting population thinks about the government’s plans for land redistribution without compensation, and what it means for private land ownership in South Africa.

  • Banks in South Africa have lent farmers about R 150 billion and have in excess of R 1.3 trillion outstanding on property loans overall.

    This is according to Banking Association of South Africa head Cas Coovadia.

  • Land reform remains one of South Africa’s most pressing unresolved issues. Attempts to address skewed ownership and economic participation patterns, the result of many years of exclusion and dispossession of black South Africans, have been unsuccessful since 1994. The present government has now turned to possible changes to the Constitution to deal with these failures. 

  • South Africa's shifting budget priorities will provide roughly half of the R50-billion ($3.5-billion) in stimulus spending it plans to make by the end of its fiscal year in March, Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene told Reuters.

  • South Africans will have to wait another two months before they know whether the Constitution should be amended to allow for land to be expropriated without compensation. 

  • This is the question on everyone’s lips as the ANC government appears to be moving ahead with its proposal to expropriate land without compensation (EWC). During TAU SA’s recent annual Congress, Adv. Roelof du Plessis SC set out the legal ramifications of the government’s various statements about EWC.

  • Land reform remains one of South Africa’s most pressing unresolved issues. Attempts to address skewed ownership and economic participation patterns, the result of many years of exclusion and dispossession of black South Africans, have been unsuccessful since 1994. The present government has now turned to possible changes to the Constitution to deal with these failures.

  • South Africa's land reforms will include issuing title deeds to small-scale farmers living on tribal lands, a senior ANC official said on Friday. This is a comment that will rile the traditional chiefs.

  • Namibia President Hage Geingob vowed Monday to push ahead with land redistribution, echoing the government of neighbouring South Africa, where the issue has become a fierce political battleground. 

  • Farm prices in South Africa have plunged by a third since the ruling party decided to seek a change to the constitution to make it easier to expropriate land without compensation, and as commodity prices fell due to bumper harvests following a drought.

  • At the City Press & Rapport Land Indaba, a day-long discussion on land, politicians and stakeholders were privy to the many policy differences that exsisted on the land matter.

  • Processing of current land claims could take 200 years and cost more than R600 billion.

  • For ten years I have been doing ‘state of the nation’ breakfast presentations with Justice Malala in Johannesburg and Cape Town. We do them twice a year in each city.

    I would like to put my latest observations on South Africa’s future, which I shared with audiences last week, in the context of the ‘High Road/Low Road’ chart shown below. It was produced by the Anglo American scenario team in 1986.

    In retrospect, South Africa managed to take the High Road of negotiation in 1990 with the release of Nelson Mandela, and with the subsequent adoption of a new constitution which led to the general election in 1994. In the ensuing years of Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki as leaders of the country, we continued along the same path at the top of the chart with fairly high economic growth rates.

    However, more recently, our economy has not performed for all the reasons we know about. We have followed the dotted line of descent entitled ‘Failure of Growth’ and have moved to the left with deep divisions among competing groups once again dominating our society.

    We are now approaching the very critical crossroads shown in the lower section of the chart. We either get out of trouble with strong leadership bordering on ‘authoritarian’ to revive the economy and promote unity of purpose; or we descend even further into outright conflict and possibly a ‘Waste Land’ devastated by civil war. It is as simple as that.

    Thus, Cyril Ramaphosa’s ascent to the presidency comes at a tipping point in the nation’s destiny. If he shows the positive qualities which I know he has from frequent meetings with him when he was the leader of the NUM, we have a chance of moving back once more to the High Road trajectory. If he is overwhelmed by internal divisions inside his own party, or by outside forces which render him powerless, the Low Road beckons with an extreme ending not to be dismissed.

    There are six flags to watch. The first is around corruption: will past perpetrators be pursued to ensure justice is seen to be done and will it be eliminated in future? Such has been the level of corruption that South Africa is now in danger of running out of money in addition to receiving junk status.

    The second flag is around improving the quality of our education system, health care and general infrastructure. No economy can grow fast without all three. The management of state owned enterprises has to be transformed for the better.

    The third flag is around style of leadership because winning nations are like winning soccer teams. People must feel they are on the same side even though they have differences of opinion. Nobody must feel excluded.

    The fourth flag is about pockets of excellence. South Africa has many and we should be replicating them instead of dumbing them down. Like soccer stars are essential to win championships, pockets of excellence ensure that a nation remains in the premier league of the global economy.

    The fifth flag which to me is the most important one of all is whether we open up our economy to achieve genuine economic freedom for all. We need an effective platform for the next generation of young entrepreneurs to launch themselves everywhere in the country. They are the ones who will be providing the millions of jobs required to get our unemployment rate down to single figures.

    The sixth and last flag is the one which in a worst case scenario can ignite a civil war and that is land reform. Reform has to happen but it must happen in a way that encourages enough goodwill on all sides to rule any form of conflict out.

    So what are the probabilities for the different paths represented on the chart? With the possibility of a new dawn arising from the new leadership, a return to the High Road with an economic growth rate of 5% per annum has increased to a 60% probability. The scenario of being stuck on the Low Road, depicted by the circle of economic stagnation in the middle of the chart and representing distribution without growth, is now assigned a 30% probability. That leaves a 10% probability of the wheels coming off altogether as we descend into the chaos of a failed state. Clem Sunter- 

    Watch the flags. They must turn green for a positive outcome. Otherwise prepare for the worst.

  • In an exercise to help potential investors make informed decisions in the midst of debate about expropriation of land without compensation, Statistics SA is going around the country to establish the size, structure and economic contribution of commercial farms.

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