Farmers warn of bitter fight
Johannesburg – Farmers’ organisation Transvaal Agricultural Union of SA (TAU-SA) on Wednesday warned it would use every means possible to stop the expropriation of land without compensation.
This came as Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa slammed British Prime Minister Theresa May over the thorny issue of land.
On Wednesday, IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi warned against a policy that would allow the government to seize land owned by white farmers without compensation.
EFF leader Julius Malema, however, told his supporters not to be scared of taking the land for fear of chasing investors away.
TAU-SA spokesperson Bennie van Zyl told Independent Media the agricultural union had already compiled a document detailing how the planned action would impact South Africa’s economy negatively.
“We have identified 16 different points showing the dangers of the motion.
“In one of the points, we are going to expose the ANC that they did not pass the motion in the interests of the country, but for their own gain.
“The motion was passed because the ANC wants to regain membership it lost to the EFF.
“We are going to ensure every means possible to stop the implementation of the motion,” Van Zyl said.
According to him, land expropriation would lead to an increase in unemployment. He said all their members in all nine provinces would participate in the hearings.
“We cannot support this motion. It is going to kill South Africa. We can’t play political games,” Van Zyl insisted.
The Joint Constitutional Review Committee, which was tasked by the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces to probe the feasibility of land expropriation without compensation, plans to hold public hearings on the matter next month.
The committee, headed by Vincent Smith and Lewis Nzimande, said they had resolved to embark on an extensive public participation process to review Section 25 of the constitution in order for the state to expropriate land without compensation.
He said the committee was expected to engage in a public participation process to get the views of all stakeholders about the necessity and mechanisms for expropriating land without compensation.
“The process will be kick-started next month when the committee will publish advertisements for oral and written submissions from the public. The public will have a month to respond, after which the committee will visit three to four districts or local municipalities per province for public hearings,” Smith said.
Addressing a Human Rights Day commemoration in Sharpeville in the Vaal, Mthethwa slammed May for threatening South Africa with sanctions over land expropriation.
“The ANC took a resolution on land in December and we as the ruling party are not going to be reckless on this matter. We are going to consult widely, but we are not going to be dictated to. We are not a colony of Theresa May as South Africa,” Mthethwa said.
In Mpumalanga, where the EFF was holding its commemorations, party leader Julius Malema told supporters not to be scared of taking the land for fear of chasing investors away, as other countries had done so and prospered afterwards.
“China has the land and investors are going there. They left Zimbabwe when it took land, now they are going back there. The conversation about land is an African conversation and South Africa shall take back its land,” Malema said.
But Buthelezi warned South Africans not to support the policy as it would chase away investors and exacerbate poverty. He said President Cyril Ramaphosa was making a serious economic mistake by insisting on not compensating white landowners.
“I would not invest my money in a country which does not compensate landowners. Only an insane businessperson would invest here,” said Buthelezi in uMlazi.