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Expropriation of agricultural land without compensation would likely cause serious damage to the sector and lead to economic collapse, says a senior AgriSA economist.

“The suggestion that land expropriation without compensation will fast-track land transfer to previously disadvantaged people may be true, but it will also seriously damage the agricultural sector and lead to economic collapse … similar to what happened in Zimbabwe,” Hamlet Hlomendlini said on Thursday.

Expropriating agricultural land without compensation could damage the agricultural sector’s competitive advantage and compromise food security and lead to poverty and unemployment, he said.

The government is under pressure to complete its land reform programme amid growing fears that Zimbabwe-style land grabs might become the order of the day. President Jacob Zuma has, on a few occasions, said the Constitution should be amended to allow for land expropriation without compensation. In his closing remarks at the ANC’s policy conference in June, he said “where it is necessary and unavoidable land expropriation without compensation may be pursued”.

Agri Northern Cape

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