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The amendment of Section 25 of the Constitution will only add to the woes of South Africa. This was the message to parliament by the more than 107 000 citizens that took part in the Free State Agriculture (FSA)’s public campaign to protect property rights and oppose the constitutional amendment of Section 25.
According to Francois Wilken, President of Free State Agriculture, this support shows that the views of FSA on property rights has a much wider support base than its farmers member’s base. “It shows that there is a significant portion of the public that understands that undermining property rights will lead to the undermining of human rights”.
FSA submitted its opposing comments on Friday, August 13th to the parliamentary committee. The reasons for FSA rejecting any Constitutional amendment include:
- Local and international investment uncertainty that will stifle employment growth further.
- The amendment will open a gap for zero compensation for all property. No investment can be made in any property if the ownership of that property cannot be guaranteed for the duration of the investment. Section 25 of the constitution as it is, properly applied using market prices as a basis, can achieve a just and equitable land reform as required.
- Our mandated position by our members is to lobby for private property rights. Any form of custodianship or nationalisation by the state is vehemently opposed. The state has clearly proved its incompetence to manage land justly and equitably on behalf of the citizens of SA.
“Placing highly productive rural agricultural land based operations in jeopardy by forging ahead with the proposed constitutional amendments, will only push South Africa further into a grave economic and humanitarian crisis and not the economic freedom for the masses as promised by politicians” said Wilken.