Expropriation without compensation founded on statistical fiction
“The motion by the EFF and ANC for expropriation without compensation rests on statistical fiction about land ownership patterns in South Africa. Land ownership in South Africa is much more widely spread across race groups than alleged in the motion.” This is the conclusion of AfriBusiness, based on an analysis provided by Agri Development Solutions.
Piet le Roux, CEO of AfriBusiness, says the motion should collapse under its own factual errors: “The motion provides three land ownership statistics to justify expropriation without compensation. However, all three statistics are erroneous, which leaves the motion resting on statistical fiction. In truth, land ownership in South Africa continues to significantly and steadily spread across racial groups.”
Under paragraph 3, the motion reads: “The African majority was only confined to 13% of the land in South Africa while whites owned 87% at the end of the apartheid regime in 1994”. However, while it is true that land ownership by black, coloured and Indian people were restricted before 1994, and most notably since the 1913 Land Act, the numbers cited are in error. State-owned land, land in the former homelands, self-governing states and development trust land alone in 1994 amounted to 28% of total usable land in South Africa. Furthermore, it should always be borne in mind that the inclusion of the semi-desert, sparsely populated Northern Cape, accounting for some 30% of land area in South Africa, in nationally aggregated statistics completely distorts the picture. It cannot be reasonably said that white people owned 87% of land by 1994.
Under paragraphs 4 and 5, the motion reads: “Only 8% of the land transferred to black people since 1994,” (par. 4), and “black people own less than 2% of rural land, and less than 7% of urban land,” (par. 5). However, these numbers are far off.
According to the best available statistics, black, coloured and Indian people in South Africa currently own approximately 38% of useable land in South Africa, and 27% of agricultural land. Moreover, even according to the Department of Agricultural Development and Land Affairs, black, coloured and Indian people own 46% of yard surface area in towns and cities.
Le Roux continues: “It should be noted that the significant spread in ownership of land in recent decades occurred despite government’s self-admitted land restitution and land reform failures. In large part, successful land reform has been the result of goodwill between persons from different racial groups in South Africa, and regular free market purchases and sales.”
“With their policy of expropriation without compensation, the ANC and the EFF now threaten to remove the only two sources of successful land reform – goodwill and the free market – leaving South Africa with government land reform only. And to add insult to injury, all indications are that they intend to make the state the owner of all land, leading to even less black, coloured and Indian land ownership than currently exist. Any undermining of the property rights of white land owners will come at the expense of the property rights of all other racial groups in South Africa as well,” Le Roux warns.
Find attached the analysis by Agri Development Solutions.
This document was exclusively compiled for AfriBusiness.
AMENDMENT OF ARTICLE 25 OF THE CONSTITUTION: MOTION OF MR JS MALEMA IN PARLIAMENT – 27 FEBRUARY 2018
The content of the motion, as presented to Parliament by Mr. Julius Malema in terms of the amendment of Article 25 of the Constitution regarding land expropriation, deserves commentary regarding the information as per points 3, 4 and 5. Because the sources of the information are unclear, just the following:
i) Under point 3, the statement is made: “the African majority was only confined to 13% of the land in South Africa, while whites owned 87% at the end of the apartheid regime in 1994”.
The Department of Agriculture’s 1993 Agricultural Census indicates Developing Agriculture in former Homelands covers 17,1 million ha or 13,9% of the total South African surface. Should unusable land such as mountains and rivers be left out of the equation, the area amounts to 15%.
In 1994 the following land surfaces were transferred to people of colour, as well as the government:
“State land” 13,8 million ha
“TBVC-state, self-governing and development trust land” 18,0 million ha
Total 31,8 million ha
(Source: ADS, Agri SA and Farmer’s Weekly land audit, 2017.)
This land area makes out 28% of the total usable surface in South Africa.
ii) Under point 4: “... only 8% of the land transferred to black people since 1994...” and 5:
“... black people own less than 2% of rural land, and less than 7% of urban land...” the following:
The information can simply not be accepted as correct. Even the orders of magnitude in the motion under points 3 and 4 indicate bigger surfaces.
Based on the information as contained in the ADS, Agri SA and Farmer’s Weekly land audit of November 2017, the surface in possession of people of colour amounts to 38% of usable surface in South Africa. In terms of agricultural land: 26,7%. According to the land audit report by the Department of Agricultural Development and
Land Affairs of November 2017, people of colour own 46% of the yard surface in towns and cities. (Table 10: Individuals’ erven land ownership by race in hectares. Page 12 of the report.)
This is a substantial difference from the information as presented by Mr Malema.
It is unfortunate that the information to Parliament is being skewly presented.
Agri Development Solutions
Statement issued by Piet le Roux, CEO, AfriBusiness, 2 March 2018