Expropriation Bill puts food security at risk

While events in Eastern Europe point to the growing importance of a country’s food security, the South African government is working on an Expropriation Bill that will make South Africans dependent on foreign food producers.

According to Francois Wilken, President of Free State Agriculture (FSA), the new Expropriation Bill will undermine property rights as a whole (not just land). “The Expropriation Bill is currently the focus of the larger land debate, while food security is becoming a growing crisis”.

“Free State Agriculture (FSA) submitted almost 100,000 citizens’ opposition to the new law during the expropriation bill’s public participation process,” Wilken said.

Specific provisions in the Bill that concern FSA include:

  1. The legal cost onus and burden on the landowner to enforce his property rights.
  2. The definitions of property and public interest (which are too broad).
  3. The opportunity (and expectation) that the zero compensation clauses create.
  4. The power that civil servants will receive to enforce this law.

FSA takes note of the parliamentary meetings to finalize the Expropriation Bill. FSA still remains of the opinion that an Expropriation Act that is in line with the Constitution of South Africa is essential and that Section 25 of the Constitution is sufficient to determine fair and equitable compensation.

The organization believes that the new Expropriation Bill falls outside the framework of the Constitution. “We are therefore geared to support efforts to defend the rights of our members and supporters with the best legal representatives,” Wilken said.

“Given the growing uncertainty about global food security, the local land debate should focus on urgently placing state land in the hands of the best individual producers and establishing partnerships in the agricultural value chain.

“The time of local ideological games is now over. The harsh reality is that, in a drastic increasing global unstable environment, we will have to provide our country’s people with food ourselves.”

Onteieningswetsontwerp plaas voedselsekerheid op risiko

Terwyl gebeure in Oos-Europa die groeiende belangrikheid vir land voedselsekerheid uitwys, is die Suid-Afrikaanse regering besig met ʼn onteieningswetsontwerp wat Suid-Afrikaners afhanklik van buitelandse voedsel produsente sal maak.

Volgens Francois Wilken, President van Vrystaat Landbou (VL), sal die nuwe onteieningswetsontwerp eiendomsreg in geheel (nie net grond nie) ondermyn. “Die onteieningswetsontwerp is tans die fokus van die groter gronddebat, terwyl voedselsekerheid ʼn groeiende krisis gaan raak”.

“Vrystaat Landbou (VL) het tydens die onteieningswetsontwerp se openbare deelname proses nagenoeg 100 000 landsburgers se teenkanting teen die nuwe wet ingedien”, het Wilken gesê.

Spesifieke bepalings in die wet wat VL bekommer sluit in:

  1. Die regskoste-onus en las op die grondeienaar om vir sy eiendom te veg.
  2. Die definisies van eiendom en openbare belang (wat te wyd is).
  3. Die geleentheid (en verwagting) wat die nul vergoedings klousules skep.
  4. Die mag wat staatsamptenare sal ontvang om hierdie wet te kan toepas.

VL neem kennis van die parlementêre vergaderings om die Onteieningswetsontwerp af te handel. VL bly steeds van mening dat ʼn Onteieningswet wat in lyn is met die Grondwet van Suid Afrika noodsaaklik is en dat die Grondwet se Artikel 25 voldoende is om billike en regverdige vergoeding te bepaal.

Die organisasie glo dat die nuwe Onteieningswetsontwerp buite die raamwerk van die grondwet val. “Ons is daarom gerat om pogings te ondersteun om met die beste regslui die regte van ons lede en ondersteuners te verdedig”, het Wilken gesê.

“Gegewe die groeiende onsekerheid oor wêreldwye voedselsekerheid, behoort die plaaslike gronddebat te fokus om dringend staatsgrond in die hande van die beste individuele produsente te plaas en vennootskappe in die landbouwaardeketting te vestig.

“Die tyd van plaaslike ideologiese speletjies is nou verby. Die harde realiteit is dat ons ons land se mense self van voedsel gaan moet voorsien in ʼn drasties toenemend globale onstabiele omgewing.”