Expropriation will NOT speed up land reform, says FSA

Onteiening sal nié grondhervorming versnel nie – VL

Expropriation without compensation (EWC) will not accelerate land reform, land ownership or transformation. EWC simply means more land in the hands of the state. According to Free State Agriculture (FSA), nothing prevents the state from expropriating land from black land owners, in favour of political connected individuals. This is a reality in South Africa as in the case of Ivan Cloete in the Western Cape and lessons can be learned from Zimbabwe. It is thus clearly political opportunism which claims that Expropriation will speed up land reform.

At the recent Maluti PALS initiative launch Minister Didiza stated that value chain partnership models built on mutual trust are preferred. The process of expropriation is a destructive process. EWC will break down good relations between South Africans that were built on trust and good-will. Good relations throughout the value chain, including agribusiness, farmworkers, new farmers and the entire rural communities, should rather be cherished.

“Successful partnerships and transfer of knowledge and skills, with expropriation, are made very difficult often leaving land out of production for a season or more. The consequence is that the period for the beneficiaries to establish themselves successfully without being dependant on the state will be prolonged”, said Francois Wilken, president of Free State Agriculture.

FSA feels strongly that by no means will expropriation speed up land reform. As expropriation is usually a last resort after thorough negotiation has taken place, the idea of expropriation to speed up land reform is preposterous.” says Wilken.

“What government should be focussing on for example are replicating the highly successful working models in the Free State. The current unproductive system of placing caretakers on the 5 300 state farms is purely a system of keeping beneficiaries dependant on the state.  This may be considered as land transformation, but it is by no means economic transformation as beneficiaries trapped on state land stay economically poor as they don’t have secure title to access capital to develop that land further.”

Onteiening sonder vergoeding (OSV) sal nie grondhervorming, eienaarskap of landbou ontwikkeling versnel nie. Onteiening beteken eenvoudig meer grond in die hande van die staat. Volgens Vrystaat Landbou (VL), verhoed niks die staat om grond van swart grondeienaars te onteien tot voordeel van politiek gekoppelde individue nie. Dit is ’n realiteit in Suid-Afrika soos met die geval van Ivan Cloete in die Wes-Kaap en lesse wat by Zimbabwe geleer kan word. Dit is duidelik slegs politiese opportunisme wat beweer dat onteiening grondhervorming sal versnel.

Gedurende die Maluti Pals inisiatief loods het Minister Didiza verklaar dat die waardeketting vennootskap modelle, wat op wedersydse vertroue gebaseer is, voorkeur geniet. Die proses van onteiening is ’n afbrekende en onaangename proses. Onteiening sal goeie verhoudings tussen Suid-Afrikaners, wat gebou is op vertroue en welwillendheid, afbreek. Goeie verhoudinge tussen alle rolspelers in die landbou waardeketting, insluitend landboubesighede, plaaswerkers, nuwe boere en die totale landelike gemeenskap, moet eerder gekoester word.

“Suksesvolle vennootskappe en die oordrag van kennis en vaardighede, met onteiening, word bemoeilik en laat grond dikwels vir ‘n seisoen of selfs langer buite produksie. Die gevolg is dat die tydperk vir die begunstigdes om hulself suksesvol te vestig en onafhanklik van die staat te wees, verleng sal word.” het Francois Wilken, president van Vrystaat Landbou, gesê.

VL voel baie sterk daaroor dat onteiening geensins grondhervorming sal bespoedig nie. “Aangesien onteiening gewoonlik ‘n laaste uitweg is nadat deeglike onderhandeling plaasgevind het, is die idee van onteiening om grondhervorming te bespoedig, belaglik.” sê Wilken.

“Waarop die regering eerder moet fokus, is om byvoorbeeld die uiters suksesvolle werksmodelle in die Vrystaat te herhaal. Die huidige onproduktiewe stelsel om opsigters op die 5 300 staatsplase te plaas, is bloot ‘n stelsel om begunstigdes van die staat afhanklik te hou. Dit kan as grondtransformasie beskou word, maar dit is hoegenaamd nie ekonomiese transformasie nie aangesien begunstigdes wat op staatsgrond vasgevang is, ekonomies arm bly. Die persone (grondopsigters) beskik nie oor ’n titelakte nie en kan dus nie toegang tot kapitaal kry om die grond verder te ontwikkel nie.”