So I'm starting an imaginary political party. (Can't think of an appropriate name yet ...) One that truly cares about the future of our country. Some of the issues we'll deal with are corruption, crime, the "land" issue, social services, environmental issues, nationalisation. And more, but they'll come up along the way.
The land issue will be dealt with, as it is unavoidable due to the constant populist drive to play with it for political points scoring. My party accepts that most productive agricultural land is owned by the white minority. On coming to power, one of our first tasks will be to rectify this problem, perceived or not.
First, we will do a land audit, to provide facts, nothing more. (We won't take 10 years to do this, we'll do it immediately) Next we will investigate all the failed land reform farms, and implement an action plan to get them productive again. If there are beneficiaries that seem genuinely interested in farming those farms, we will offer assistance. The assistance will comprise of low interest Land Bank loans to viable projects. (Viability assessments will first be done) Technical assistance will be provided by the Dept of Agriculture, or consultants. (Only those that charge fair rates) Farms that are not taken by beneficiaries will be leased to people willing to farm them. (Even if they may be white, but blacks will get preference if they qualify) Land will be dealt with on a willing farmer basis. Farmers that fail will be forcefully removed from farms. If there are farms that beneficiaries would rather sell, this option will be rejected, as the farms were claimed in the first place, and paid for by government. My government will not accept this sort of abuse of public resources. Farms beneficiaries want to develop for things other than agriculture will be considered, keeping in mind the needs of the country.
If all the land reform farms are successful, and we have a REAL demand now from black people to farm, we will buy farms for them. (This process will take a few years) This will be done on an expropriation basis, at market related cost. The original owner will be invited to stay on in an advisory capacity for a period of 5 years. He would be paid a fair salary for this service. If the farm failed, the previous owner would be offered to lease the property back, at a fair value to both the state and the farmer.
The land issue will be dealt with in such a way that it is not destructive to the rest of the population of the country. There would be a specific goal, but the methods used will be flexible according to real demands and practicalities. The food security of the country would be guaranteed and non negotiable. We would expect all parties to remain reasonable, and to keep the interests of the survival of our country at heart.
Current land claims not settled yet will immediately and aggressively be finalised. The state will decide the way forward once these are settled. (eg maybe a claim is successful, but the claimants don't want to farm. Perhaps a deal can be struck with the original owners to lease the land from the claimants. Claimants wanting to farm will only be allowed to on strict condition they keep the farms productive)
We will not tolerate any radical activity which may result in sudden large scale employment loss. We reject the notion by some parties, that in order to gain, some suffering may be required. We believe there are alternatives to prevent this suffering ever being necessary, or at least severely limit any suffering caused by "teething" problems.
Our goal will be to uplift all South Africans, be it by whatever means. We strive to close the disparity of incomes between individuals, but to reward individuals that offer more to society than others. We do not believe in total equality, but we do believe in responsible socialism that ensures all people are cared for in our country, regardless of income. Our party would embark on small scale nationalisation, if anything, to prove some points.
Ok, how many votes so far. (For or against, and you can be as rude as you want!)
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