TAU SA worries over Constitution claims

2011-09-21 20:34
Johannesburg - Food shortages will be the first consequence if the ANC changed the Constitution for the sake of land reform, farmers' union TAU SA said on Wednesday.

"TAU SA is shocked by the announcement of the Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform Gugile Nkwinti that government is willing to amend the Constitution for the sake of land reform."

TAU SA president Louis Meintjies said contradictory messages on land reform were being sent out, but with a single outcome - land expropriation.

Several processes were currently running to discuss a green paper which proposed measures for land reform.

Meintjies said re-opening land claims, combined with a change of the Constitution, could result in farmers losing land to unsubstantiated land claims.

Changing the Constitution to forcefully introduce land reform would be the end of the free market system. Meintjies said this would put South Africa on the road to socialism in its ultimate form, namely communism.

One of the first consequences of this would be food shortages.

The statement followed a report that the African National Congress would change the Constitution if necessary.

Nkwinti told a parliamentary portfolio committee on Tuesday: "The Constitution has to help the community to advance. If advancement gets stalled then the Constitution has to be changed."

While emphasising the debate was purely exploratory, Nkwinti said discussions around land reform and restitution needed to be re-opened.

The focus of government policy after 1994 was on reconciliation, rather than equality and fixing the wrongs of the apartheid era. This was the correct policy, but the government was dealing with a ticking time bomb if these wrongs were not set right.

"If necessary we will alter the Constitution to reach our goals," he said.

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