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Free State Agriculture (FSA) remains weary of the Expropriation Bill as the main policy to drive the expropriation without compensation ideology. This was the reaction of Free State Agriculture after recent reports that the EFF and ANC could not agree on the amendment of Section 25 of the Bill of Rights in the Constitution.
According to FSA President, Francois Wilken, civil society should not see this development as the end of the threat to property rights in South Africa. “The Expropriation Bill remains the biggest threat and is currently in the process of becoming law. Should this Bill be promulgated, all assets could be targeted for expropriation by the state”.
Wilken said that the absence of a credible Land Audit gives politicians free reign to keep abusing the land issue. “Last week at a Centre for Development and Enterprise (CDE) engagement, former Minister of Finance and chairman of the National Development Plan committee, Trevor Manuel, referred to a Bureau for Economic Research (BER) evidence-based study evaluating the NDP stating that we have actually achieved 67% of the 2030 land reform objective set in the NDP and are well on track to achieving what was planned for”. These facts sadly get ignored in the pursuit of ideological goals, which is causing significant uncertainty in the agriculture sector.
“Due to COVID, the Free State leg of the Expropriation Bill public hearings have been postponed twice now. The portfolio committee from Public Works handling the hearings have uttered that the last remaining provinces, namely the Free State and Northern Cape, be excluded due to an overwhelming support of the Bill in its current form.” says Wilken. “Although Free State Agriculture has already made a written submission, supported by 80 000 supporters, and addressed the committee at a national level rejecting the Bill, we will insist on the provincial hearings to put our case across where our members can express their personal fears and concerns of allowing a gap in our legislation for expropriation (of anyone’s property!) without compensation.”
Anyone who still wants to oppose the Expropriation Bill can record their input on Free State Agriculture’s website (https://vrystaatlandbou.co.za/stop-expropriation/ ). These inputs will be handed over to the parliamentary panel holding the provincial public hearings.