Organisations take a stance against EWC – Ad Hoc Group

Expert notes there is presently more race-based legislation than during apartheid

Organisations take a stance against expropriation without compensation and claim property rights for every South African 

22 August 2019

The Ad Hoc Group for the Protection of Property Rights has taken note of the motion recently passed in Parliament to reinstate the parliamentary ad hoc committee for the amendment of section 25 of the Constitution. The Ad Hoc Group for the Protection of Property Rights has also noted the report submitted by the Presidential Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture, as well as the minority report released by two members of the Advisory Panel.

The Ad Hoc Group for the Protection of Property Rights* is an informal grouping of organisations that have been meeting regularly since 2008 to consider matters of mutual interest, and particularly to oppose attempts to expropriate land and other property. The ad hoc group met in Pretoria on Friday 16 August 2019.

The convenor of the group, Mr Jaco Schoeman, said at the last meeting that the future of South Africa and its residents is too precious to allow the draconian notion of expropriation without compensation to continue. Amidst escalating poverty and unemployment figures, the government continues to pursue a harmful and dangerous policy which offers no solutions for the socioeconomic issues with which South Africa is grappling. In fact, policies such as expropriation without compensation further undermine fundamental economic and other structures and systems in the country and pose an immense threat to economic and related social progress.

At its recent meeting, the Ad Hoc Group for the Protection of Property Rights was briefed by Prof André Duvenhage of the NWU. Prof Duvenhage outlined the ideological background and climate driving the proposed constitutional amendments, highlighting several threats to South African society together with the recommendations of the Presidential Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture. Prof Duvenhage added that it is the government’s primary responsibility to ensure order, stability and security for the country’s citizens, and moreover, to create a climate in which investors will feel safe to invest their capital. 

In bothrespects, the ANC government is completely failing South Africa. Prof Duvenhage argued that there is presently more race-based legislation for implementing policies than during apartheid. The state is becoming progressively dysfunctional, with infrastructure and service delivery breaking down. Prof Duvenhage believes that all planning done by civil society should be directed towards functioning outside the public service.

Several important matters were discussed at the meeting, with the various organisations indicating their intention to continue with their own actions and projects. In addition, they undertook to participate in actions and planning to promote the protection of property rights for all South Africans, given its importance as a factor to ensure economic growth. The protection of property rights is the only sustainable way to create opportunities for all people in the country. Making available title deeds to all South Africans, among others those living in RDP houses, was discussed and generally supported by the ad hoc group.

Serious concern was expressed at the meeting that the effect of the ANC’s proposed policy would be greatest on the poorest and most vulnerable South Africans, with serious socio-economic consequences. Vulnerable South Africans are being robbed of their future by government policy, and expropriation without compensation will accelerate and exacerbate this trend. In addition, serious concerns were expressed over safety and security in rural areas, while large-scale urbanisation was taking place with little effective planning or strategy around the provision of sustainable food security.

Fears were reiterated that the government was adopting the policy stance of expropriating land without compensation despite the lack of a reliable database on land ownership in South Africa. It was pointed out that even the existing databases on land ownership reflected deviations and differences of up to 30%.

Information was also received about the destructive effect of the proposed National Health Insurance and that it would contribute toward a greater economic burden on every economically productive South African. It could be regarded as a form of expropriation of the health sector.

The Ad Hoc Group for the Protection of Property Rights invites all organisations and South Africans who have the future of our country at heart to become part of the broad civil opposition against the destructive ideological policy approach of property rights violations. The fundamental premise of the ad hoc group is that property rights, within the internationally established principles of human rights, form the foundation of economic growth and progress. The Ad Hoc group encourages all South Africans to work together with member organisations to lay the foundations of a successful South African future.

The activities of the executive committee of the Ad Hoc Group for the Protection of Property Rights will henceforth be coordinated by Jaco Schoeman (Afrikanerbond) as convenor, Bennie van Zyl (TAU SA) as deputy chairperson, Dave Steward (FW de Klerk Foundation), Dr Theo de Jager (SAAI), Piet le Roux (Sakeliga), Hermann Pretorius (SAIRR), and Jan Bosman as Secretariat.

Issued by Jaco Schoeman on behalf of Ad Hoc Group, 22 August 2019

*The Ad Hoc Group for the Protection of Property Rights is an informal group of organisations, institutions and political parties across the political and social spectrum opposed to expropriation without compensation. Several other organisations are also starting to support this group.