Davies soothes investor fears on land reform

Cape Town – Land reform will not threaten the security of investments, the portfolio committee on trade and industry heard.

Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies, who briefed the committee on the department of trade and industry’s mandate with respect to SONA and the National Budget on Tuesday also spoke on land reform. The matter was raised by DA MP Dean MacPherson who asked Davies why he had not spoken on how land reform would impact investor confidence during his presentation.

Davies assured that the way land expropriation without compensation will be handled, will not be damaging to food security or agricultural productivity.

Davies admitted it may be challenging to clarify this message to investors, but explained that their investments were secure.

“I can say to investors that I have confidence that the processes we have embarked on will be robust.

“The fact that the decision of further work has been referred to the Constitutional Review Committee means they will not go for an outcome that will ‘bust’ the Constitution. It is going to be in favour of the Constitution,” he said.

Davies explained that the committee would likely come up with proposals which are “workable and doable” and would not create uncertainty for investors.

“I can turn to investors and say that their investment in South Africa is perfectly secure,” he said.

“I think it is going to be a form of land reform conducive to raising the productivity of beneficiaries.”

Davies added that South Africa would not be following the path of “our unfortunate neighbours”.

He said there are many examples of countries which have successfully industrialised and land reform has been pivotal in that. In South Africa there are people with agricultural potential, but do not have access to the land they need, he explained.

Land reform can create opportunities for small scale farmers and create employment, as well as develop other areas of the value chain such as agro-processing, he said.

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