AfriBusiness will not accept land expropriation without compensation

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AfriBusiness on Wednesday said it “will not accept expropriation without compensation, no matter if it is driven by the African National Congress (ANC) or the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF)”.

On Tuesday Parliament voted in favour of the EFF’s motion expropriation of land without compensation after the ANC tabled amendments which said such a move must be done in a way that ensures food security, economic growth and radical economic transformation.

The Constitutional Review Committee of Parliament has been tasked with looking at the relevant sections of the constitution and report back to Parliament at the end of August.

However, AfriBusiness – the business rights association – said: “Landowners 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.” 

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 were 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 said 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,” said Le Roux.

“Therefore, we also work to protect our members’ interests – and the public interest – even under the worst possible political leadership.”