Agri EC calls for calm over proposed EWC

2018-03-22 06:01
=Doug Stern            Photo:SUPPLIED

=Doug Stern Photo:SUPPLIED

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

EASTERN Cape farmers’ organisation Agri Eastern Cape has urged members not to panic over the chances of a Zimbabwe-styled land-grab happening to them, saying South Africa’s Constitution is strong enough to withstand the proposed policy changes.

With more than 4 000 farms already in the government’s hands and awaiting redistribution to new owners, numerous scenarios need to be played out before the recently proposed Expropriation Without Compensation (EWC) policy has any impact on the country – if, indeed, it ever comes into effect.

This is according to Agri EC president Doug Stern, who pointed out that the major stumbling block to EWC is the Constitution, which protects the rights of all landowners in the country.

“Land grabs are not a fait accompli, no matter what anyone says to the contrary,” said Stern.

“The Constitution cannot be amended on a political whim. It is a lengthy and arduous process, which would take years to achieve,” he said, adding that vote garnering ahead of next year’s general elections had much to do with the issue being brought to the fore.

Perfect platform to garner votes

“We have an election looming. It has to be borne in mind that the issue, while certainly contentious, is actually the perfect political platform from which to garner votes.

Stern also pointed out that, at this stage, all that is in place is a policy document which still requires public input. Furthermore, the International Human Rights Commission will be watching developments closely, especially in view of the fact that governments cannot simply take away the right to own land.

“Even in the unlikely event that it did become reality, have the politicians given any thought to what would happen to the land once expropriated?

“To whom would it be given? Who would be responsible for the debt owed on any given piece of land or farm?

“As it is, the state is sitting with around 4 000 farms in its possession which are unproductive – the question is why more farms are needed. This unproductive land could certainly be put to use.”

Stern also said that the economic impact of “taking” land would be catastrophic, as has been pointed out by numerous economists.

“Food and employment security would be dealt a bitter blow and, as a consequence, the poor would be worst affected by the outcome of such an irresponsible act,” he said.

Very successful black commercial farmers

Something else that Stern said had to be taken into consideration was the fact that there were enough examples of very successful black commercial farmers who attained land through the free market system.

“With the assistance of organised agriculture and the private sector, the government needs to be convinced that there are models that will work to successfully advance the State’s land reform programme,” he said.

“I want to appeal to fellow farmers not to panic and do anything irresponsible. Please look at all the positives surrounding you, such as comparatively low interest rates, and leave this one possible negative matter for elected representatives to deal with on your behalf.

“Farmers must carry on doing what they do best – that is to produce food for our country, while enjoying your farming. We must not take this bait.”

(ISSUED: AGRI EASTERN CAPE)

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

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.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.