50/50 ownership policy won’t end with land - AfriSake

Organisation says uncertainty over property ownership with have dire consequences for economy

50/50 land policy bodes draconian consequences for SA economy

If landowners are prepared to give up 50% of their land, it will only be a matter of time before the state will claim the other half. This is the response of the business rights watchdog AfriBusiness regarding the acceptance of the party’s new policy on land ownership.

Gugile Nkwinti, Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, announced on Sunday after the ANC’s National Policy Conference that the governing party now formally endorsed the policy that farmers must cede 50% of their land to their workers.

According to Stefan Pieterse, National Spokesperson for AfriBusiness, Nkwinti’s policy aims that farmers receive no compensation for their land at all. “Money received will be paid into a workers’ trust.”

“The principle established here is that the government could decide to take part of your property and give it to another,” said Pieterse. ‘Consequently, the government will not dwell on land only, but also impose on other asset classes.’

Pieterse said the adoption of this policy creates negative consequences for South Africa’s struggling economy. Increased uncertainty about property ownership increases risks for both domestic and foreign investors. For this reason, the country’s economy cannot grow.

AfriBusiness is of the opinion that the policy will not pass the constitutional test. “If necessary, AfriBusiness will assist its members to protect their ownership.”

Issued by Stefan Pieterse, National spokesperson, AfriBusiness, 13 October 2015