Put South Africa first – Agri SA

Agri SA confirms its position that expropriation without compensation (EWC) will have dire socio-economic impacts. The danger of EWC is especially pertinent as the constitutional review committee (CRC) is expected to finalise their recommendation on the amendment of section 25 of the Constitution this week.

“It is necessary that all political parties and their representatives are aware of the economic consequences of EWC,” said Pierre Vercueil, Agri SA Deputy President. “The impact of this decision is so far-reaching that the interest of South Africa should outweigh politicking.”

Agri SA refined its view on the impacts of EWC during its Centre of Excellence: Land meeting, yesterday. The meeting was an opportunity for Agri SA members to discuss and give input to the policy advocacy efforts of Agri SA.

Studies showed that the consequences of EWC could include a credit downgrade, a deeper recession, massive disinvestment and worsened unemployment especially in rural areas. Furthermore, EWC will make sustainable development of new farmers impossible, as the land will not have any value on which it is possible to raise production finance, i.e. debt collateral. This will make these farmers dependent on the state forever at the expense of taxpayers.

Agri SA has noted with alarm the recent meetings of the CRC and the clear intention of the ANC, EFF and UDM members of that committee to bulldoze through a recommendation to amend the Section 25 property clause. This is despite serious reservations expressed on the lack of procedural compliance of the public consultation process. Such an enormous decision cannot be made in haste.

“Any decision to meddle with the fundamental right to property, must be done with the greatest circumspection,” said Vercueil. “What South Africa needs now more than anything is economic growth. The impact of EWC will hit the poorest of the poor the hardest.”

Agri SA believes that land reform can be speeded up, done at scale and in a sustainable manner without having to resort to changing the Constitution and impacting on the economy.

“We will put all our resources into ensuring that our sector and the country is not harmed by politically motivated recommendations that are not in the best interests of South Africa.”

Issued by Thea Liebenberg, Media Liasion Officer, Agri SA.




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