Unused land is main target of SA’s expropriation plan Money Web - Ed Stoddard

Unused land is main target of SA’s expropriation plan Money Web - Ed Stoddard

South Africa‘s plan to expropriate land without compensation in order to redress racial disparities in land ownership would target mainly unused land, a senior official with the ruling African National Congress (ANC) said on Tuesday.

As part of long-promised reforms, the ANC in December adopted a resolution to expropriate land without compensation for redistribution to landless black South Africans, provided this was done in a manner that does not threaten food security or undermine economic growth.

Land ownership remains a highly emotive subject more than two decades after the end of apartheid. Whites still own most of South Africa‘s land. Moves towards land expropriation have also worried markets and economists and farming groups have warned of a potentially devastating impact on the agricultural sector.

David Masondo, a member of the ANC’s Economic Transformation Committee, said the aim of the resolution was not to target “all land that is productively utilised … but use it or lose it, even if you are black.”

“It includes vacant land, unused land, and land used for speculative purposes,” he told a breakfast seminar with reporters.

The ANC has been fleshing out the resolution, using its majority in South Africa‘s parliament to back a motion last week seeking to change the constitution to allow land expropriation without compensation. It then instructed a committee to review the constitution and report back to it by Aug. 30.

Agri Northern Cape

Strong opposition to expropriation at Grain SA congress Farmer's Weekly - Sabrina Dean

Strong opposition to expropriation at Grain SA congress Farmer's Weekly - Sabrina Dean

Emotions ran high on day one of Grain SA’s annual congress at Nampo Park, Bothaville, Wednesday, as members reacted to a motion dealing with expropriation without compensation (EWC).

Grain SA vice-chairperson Derek Mathews asked congress to consider a motion comprising four salient points.

One of these proposed that Grain SA should continue to oppose the motion recently submitted to Parliament which asked for constitutional amendments to enable EWC.

“Through our cooperation and participation within Agri SA, we must support and make available all the resources we can to uphold the Constitution as it is today,” he said.

Mathews also proposed that congress accept the other three points of the motion:

  • That Grain SA recognises and supports the need for land reform and transformation in South Africa;
  • That Grain SA recognises the need for a thriving and prosperous grain sector to sustain and enhance food security to the benefit of all in South Africa; and
  • That Grain SA will continue to advocate for and aspire to the handing over of title deeds to the beneficiaries of all land reform farms.

Agri Northern Cape