La nd ex­pro­pri­a­tion – a lengthy battle awaits

Farmer's Weekly (South Africa) - - Contents -

“The fight over land and ex­pro­pri­a­tion without com­pen­sa­tion is only start­ing now.”

This was ac­cord­ing to Dr Corné Mul­der, FF Plus par­lia­men­tary chief whip, fol­low­ing Par­lia­ment’s joint Con­sti­tu­tional Re­view Com­mit­tee’s (CRC) re­cent rec­om­men­da­tion to adopt its re­port to amend Sec­tion 25 of the Con­sti­tu­tion to al­low for the ex­pro­pri­a­tion of land without com­pen­sa­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to Mul­der, the de­ci­sion taken by the com­mit­tee did not mean that the process had been finalised.

“There is the pos­si­bil­ity that a le­gal process can be fol­lowed to set the com­mit­tee’s de­ci­sion aside, see­ing that the process the com­mit­tee fol­lowed was flawed and rid­dled with er­rors.”

The CRC rec­om­men­da­tion prompted Agri SA to con­sult its lawyers with re­gard to pos­si­ble lit­i­ga­tion. The or­gan­i­sa­tion de­nounced the com­mit­tee’s de­ci­sion as “an un­ac­cept­able out­come of an ex­tended con­sul­ta­tion process”.

Ac­cord­ing to Agri SA, the or­gan­i­sa­tion would roll out the next phase of its tac­ti­cal plan against ex­pro­pri­a­tion without com­pen­sa­tion, and would fight to en­sure a sus­tain­able fu­ture for all in­volved in agri­cul­ture, as well as all or­di­nary South Africans.

The In­sti­tute of Race Re­la­tions also in­di­cated that the or­gan­i­sa­tion was pre­pared to take le­gal steps to pre­vent the “pro­ce­du­rally flawed” amend­ment to Sec­tion 25 of the Con­sti­tu­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to Dr John Pur­chase, CEO of Ag­biz, it was not nec­es­sary to amend the Con­sti­tu­tion to ef­fect land re­form in South Africa, and this pro­posed amend­ment would im­pact neg­a­tively on much-needed in­vest­ments for South Africa, and would harm the econ­omy. “Ag­biz will en­gage on this [mat­ter], as well as make oral sub­mis­sions to Par­lia­ment,” he said.

The re­view com­mit­tee’s re­port was ex­pected to come be­fore the Na­tional As­sem­bly for de­bate by the end of Novem­ber, be­fore be­ing for­warded to the Na­tional Coun­cil of Prov­inces. The EFF had ex­pressed a de­sire to have the process con­cluded be­fore next year’s elec­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to An­nel­ize Crosby, head of land af­fairs at Agri SA, it was highly un­likely that this would be achieved. “The rec­om­men­da­tion is only the first step in a long and ar­du­ous process to amend the Con­sti­tu­tion, while le­gal pro­ceed­ings will also de­lay the process,” she said. – Je­an­dré van der Walt

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