No amount of champagne, cakes or booze-fuelled parties can mask the reality of the what the ANC has become.
Morning clouds. Cool.
Cattle feeding at a feeding trough. (Photo by Gallo Images/Landbouweekblad/Chris Jooste)
Multimedia · User Galleries · News in Pictures
Send us your pictures · Send us your stories
The Budget shows that government planning on land reform is misaligned with its proclaimed ideological policy stance, writes Terence Corrigan.
Government's priorities are seen less in the volume of its rhetoric than in the quality of its actions; nothing encapsulates this better than the Budget.
For all the voluble discussion around land reform and the evident determination of the country's political elite to steamroller a policy of expropriation without compensation, there was little to suggest that land and agrarian reform were taking on any greater significance than has been the case previously.
The breakdown of expenditure by function in the Budget Review puts all spending on land, agriculture and rural development at some R30.7bn in the coming financial year, rising slightly to R32.8bn in 2021/22. The allocation for these functions would account for some 1.7% of consolidated state spending, with an average annual increase of a paltry 3% over the three-year period. This rate of increase is one of the lowest of any functional element in the budget.
READ: Mboweni takes no prisoners and skips the BS
The message is clear here. Government has singularly failed to make a meaningful provision for an expanded and enhanced land reform effort, even as it talks up its commitment to doing so, and talks down the protection of property rights.
It's important to remember that the current expropriation without compensation policy drive was introduced with assurances that it would not disrupt the economy, or deter investment or threaten food security. Rather, so the reasoning goes, it would enhance property rights and stimulate economic activity.
Indeed, if there is any hope of achieving these outcomes, it will be necessary to improve on the performance of the whole land reform system. It has long been common cause that the acquisition of land is only one element of this system, and far from the most demanding one. Given the disastrous performance of many if not most land reform projects, making them work as viable economic units is critical. Government has – to its credit – acknowledged that providing appropriate support will be crucial to successful land reform.
But the budget commitments show scant evidence of this. One of the most important sets of figures in this respect – making land reform successful beyond the mere transfer of land parcels – is the budgeted support for farmers. "Famer support and development" is to receive some R4.1bn in 2019/2020, rising to R4.6bn in 2021/22. At an annual increase of some 4.1%, it may not dissipate under inflation, but these numbers do not suggest a quantitative or qualitative increase in support for farmers – as one might expect in light of the supposed heightened commitment to a greatly stepped-up programme of land reform.
Rather it has restated past patterns – it is difficult to imagine that this will result in anything other than past mistakes. And it is above all a betrayal of the aspirant farmers whom government is nominally keen to promote.It also invites caution about the direction that South Africa's land politics is likely to take.
For the Budget shows that government planning on this issue is misaligned with its proclaimed ideological policy stance. An accelerated programme of land takings and redistributions can simply not be successfully undertaken when the resources and infrastructure that will make it possible are not in place.
Many commentators noted in the run-up to the presentation of the Budget that the government would need to perform a very delicate balancing act in inauspicious circumstances. If nothing else, the document presented has shown just how unworkable the emerging land policy is likely to be.
- Terence Corrigan is a project manager at the Institute of Race Relations. Readers are invited to join the IRR by sending an SMS to 32823 (SMSes cost R1, Ts and Cs apply).
Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.
'It is bittersweet for all of us.'
Is it enough to protect you from the deadly virus?
Is the Ford Mustang 2.3 EcoBoost Convertible any good? Let's find out...
The Mother City's Greenmarks Square and CBD changed a lot in 120 years.
Just seven ingredients and you've got the tastiest braai sauce ever!
From Audi's RS6 Avant to the BMW M2 CS, and Porsche's electric sports car, the Taycan.
Even princess's need help! Kate shares her struggles with early motherhood.
Baby Archie’s secret godparents have been unmasked.
Cape TownMass Staffing ProjectsR500 000.00 - R700 000.00 Per Year
Cape TownTumaini ConsultingR480 000.00 - R600 000.00 Per Year
Cape TownAdcorpBlu - Cape TownR11 000.00 - R11 200.00 Per Month
Apartments / Flats
R 13 500
Apartments / Flats
R 9 400
R 19 800
We subscribe to the Press Code.
You choose what you want
News24 on Android
Get the latest from News24 on your Android device.
Terms and Conditions
24.com Terms and Conditions - Updated April 2012
Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.
This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.