"The decision of the National Assembly to review Article 25 of the Constitution to provide for the principle of land expropriation without compensation is the beginning of the end to sustainable economic growth, wealth and prosperity for South Africa," says Fanie Brink, an independent agricultural economist.
He said the decision was purely the last straw which the ANC now seeks to kick off its election campaign because it has nothing else to offer to its supporters.
The Constitutional Review Committee of Parliament appointed to review the Constitution will now create even greater uncertainty for commercial agricultural producers and place further investments by local and foreign investments in agriculture in the balance.
The extent to which the Committee has the expertise to make objective findings and recommendations on agricultural production, food security and economic growth is seriously doubted as food security can only be sustainable if food production is profitable.
"The political leaders in Africa have always demonstrated clearly that food security and economic development did not stand in the way if the outcome of the next election was at stake."
The ANC Conference's decision to expropriate land without compensation will undoubtedly, as in the rest of Africa, make a very large proportion of the population dependent on agriculture with unprecedented famine and much greater poverty.
Brink says it remains unclear what the protection of international human rights on property rights as a fundamental human right or the protection of property rights through the universal declaration on Human Rights of the United Nations, the European Convention on Human Rights and the African Convention mean to the owners of agricultural land in South Africa. The question is what practical protection and real significance do these statements and conventions have for commercial farmers in South Africa and to what extent Agri SA has obtained clear clarification on this issue or whether it just uses it as a smokescreen to reassure producers about the expropriation of agricultural land?
"There can be no doubt that the amendment of the Constitution to expropriate agricultural land without compensation will deprive South Africa of its agricultural potential to provide food security to all its people and to make a significant contribution to economic growth," said Brink.
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