EWC nothing more than code for racist theft - AfriForum

Solidarity meanwhile warns that motion is a heavy blow to investment confidence

Motion over land reform a violation of the 1994 agreement

AfriForum labelled today’s motion that was accepted in Parliament, in terms of which a process will be launched to execute land reform without compensation, as a violation of the 1994 agreement.

Ernst Roets, Deputy CEO of AfriForum, says that the historic settlement of 1994 was one in which the ANC – under the leadership of President Cyril Ramaphosa, who acted as Chief Negotiator for the party – gave the undertaking to minorities that their interests would be protected in the new South Africa.

“This motion is based on a distorted image of the past. The term ‘expropriation without compensation’ is a form of semantic fraud. It is nothing more that racist theft.”

Roets adds that AfriForum will oppose this motion, even if the battle has to be executed in the chambers of the United Nations (UN).

Statement issued by Ernst Roets, Deputy CEO, AfriForum, 27 February 2018


ANC can’t have both investor confidence and expropriation without compensation 

Trade union Solidarity today said that it would seem as if the ANC wants to have its cake and eat it too as it wants to instil investor confidence by making changes in the Treasury and by making reassuring noises at Davos while it is advocating expropriation of land without compensation with the same zest. This follows after this party supported the EFF’s motion on this sensitive issue this afternoon.

“This issue should indeed cause disillusion and will bring an end to Ramaphoria. It is clear that although Cyril Ramaphosa may well be president of the country he is first and foremost president of the ANC. If expropriation without compensation is indeed set to continue a substitution of the captain of the Titanic is all that would have been achieved,” Connie Mulder, head of the Solidarity Research Institute said. 

According to Mulder, it is a folly to assume that any foreign investor would invest in property here if such property would merely be grabbed by government. “Private ownership rights form the basis of any successful economy. To be able to tackle our major unemployment problem and unlock economic growth, the government should empower the private sector instead of threatening them with expropriation,” Mulder said. 

“What is particularly concerning, is that the ANC supported an EFF motion. The EFF is known for advocating nationalisation and wanting to convert South Africa into Venezuela,” Mulder warned. 

The EFF motion regarding expropriation without compensation is in line with the ANC’s policy decision in December. 

“This motion does not merely affect agricultural land; it affects all private property – it will create a dangerous precedent. Even if qualifying clauses of financial stability and food security are added, it won’t inspire the confidence needed to halt the outflow of capital. The idea that the government should take land in order to conserve it, is de facto communism and will have the same consequences,” Mulder explained. 

“Despite promises of economic growth, this motion is a definite blow to investment confidence. After the Cabinet reshuffle, President Ramaphosa indicated that he was serious about the economy but this motion undermines that sentiment,” Mulder concluded. 

Statement issued by Connie Mulder, Head: Solidarity Research Institute, 27 February 2018


ANC and EFF wants to expropriate without compensation: AfriBusiness says no.

AfriBusiness will not accept expropriation without compensation, no matter if it is driven by the ANC or the EFF.

Land owners should consider the term of president Cyril Ramaphosa as a window period for the hedging of their assets, even if any expropriation without compensation is unlikely to be implemented immediately, says the business organisation.

AfriBusiness CEO Piet le Roux says Ramaphosa's comments in the House of Traditional Leaders and the EFF's motion for expropriation without compensation in parliament today are unfortunately not the last on the matter: “With the ANC's acceptance of the principle of expropriation without compensation a new political landscape was established in South Africa: one where the radical Julius Malema and his EFF's outrageous policy suddenly became mainstream. Although there is reason to believe that Mr Ramaphosa wants to limit its impact, the reality is that his possible caution is not a guarantee of stability. The contempt of property that is now tolerated and fed is creating all the wrong expectations with voters, laying the foundations for a new, more radical political phase in South Africa.”

Le Roux says AfriBusiness regards the term of Mr Ramaphosa as a window period for landowners: “Landowners in South Africa can prepare for either scenario: both the staving off of expropriation without compensation, and its implementation. On the one hand, it may be that under Ramaphosa, despite his public promises, expropriation without compensation ends up being rejected. AfriBusiness will spare no effort to prevent the latter – and we request the public's support in this regard.”

“On the other hand,” says Le Roux, “it is necessary to admit that in this new political landscape, despite any attempts by a moderate wing within the ANC, expropriation without compensation might indeed be introduced. Therefore, it is necessary for landowners to regard the current period as a window of opportunity to structure their property in such a way that it is unattractive for expropriation or would result in minimum loss.”

In the interest of hedging property rights, AfriBusiness has in the meantime compiled eight tips for landowners. The tips indicate ways for land to be structured such that it is unattractive for expropriation. The eight tips are attached.

“AfriBusiness supports property rights. We monitor what happens in parliament, deliver input, and take cases to court if necessary. But it would not be wise to put all one’s eggs in the basket of better political decisions. Therefore, we also work to protect our members' interests - and the public interest - even under the worst possible political leadership.”

Join AfriBusiness today and invest in the future.

Statement issued by Piet le Roux, CEO, AfriBusiness, 27 February 2018