Property rights: President Ramaphosa’s contradictory messages

The contradictory messages from government officials, including the president, about custodianship and nationalization of land create concern. This was the reaction of Free State Agriculture after it was reported that ANC and EFF members of the Ad Hoc Committee for the Amendment of Article 25 of the Constitution advocate state custodianship of all land.

In response, President Ramaphosa rejected the concept of state guardianship over land, saying the ANC’s policy was to promote land ownership. In the same breath, the President reiterated his support for the Ad Hoc Committee’s mandate – which focuses on enabling expropriation without compensation.

According to Free State Agriculture president, Francois Wilken, the president’s message was slightly encouraging for some but did not align with the content of, for example, the new Expropriation Act. “It is good that Pres. Ramaphosa sends out a very clear and strong message of private land ownership, but it should not blind us to the reality of legislation that will empower the government to undermine private ownership.” says Wilken.

Free State Agriculture would like to see Pres. Ramaphosa adding action to his words on private property rights by removing those articles that undermine property rights from new expropriation legislation.

The difference between what pres. Ramaphosa and the committee members said, comes down to the fact that the Ad Hoc committee wants to alienate all citizens’ property rights while the president advocates government power that can target specific individuals or groups.

Free State Agriculture keeps to its position that broadening participation in the agricultural sector can only take place through market-oriented policies and market-driven projects. “Our members are not secondary citizens and we will continue to fight for a just order where property rights of all citizens are protected.” says Wilken.

FSA will empower its members to attend the Free State leg and final round of the public hearings on the Expropriation Bill (if it takes place) and to object to any reference to expropriation without compensation.

Eiendomsreg: President Ramaphosa praat uit twee monde

Die weersprekende boodskappe van regeringslui, insluitend die president, oor voogdyskap en nasionalisering van grond skep kommer. Dit was die reaksie van Vrystaat Landbou (VL) nadat dit berig is dat ANC en EFF lede van die Ad Hoc-komitee vir die Wysiging van Artikel 25 van die Grondwet staats-voogdyskap van alle grond voorstaan.

In sy reaksie hierop, het President Ramaphosa die konsep van voogdyskap van die staat oor grond verwerp en gesê die ANC-beleid is om grondeienaarskap te bevorder. In dieselfde asem, het die President sy steun aan die Ad Hoc-komitee se mandaat – wat daarop fokus om onteiening sonder vergoeding moontlik te maak – herbeklemtoon.

Volgens Vrystaat Landbou president, Francois Wilken, was die president se boodskap effens bemoedigend vir sommiges maar strook dit nie met die inhoud van byvoorbeeld die nuwe Onteieningswet nie. “Dit is goed dat pres. Ramaphosa ʼn baie duidelike en sterk boodskap van private grondbesit uitstuur, maar dit moet ons nie verblind teen die realiteit van wetgewing wat die regering gaan bemagtig om privaat eienaarskap te ondermyn nie.” sê Wilken.

Vrystaat Landbou sou graag wou sien dat pres. Ramaphosa daad by sy  woorde oor privaat besitreg voeg en daardie artikels wat eiendomsreg ondermyn uit nuwe onteieningswetgewing verwyder.

Die verskil tussen wat pres. Ramaphosa en die komiteelede gesê het, kom daarop neer dat die Ad Hoc-komiteelede alle landsburgers se eiendomsreg wil vervreem terwyl die president regeringsmag wat spesifieke persone of groepe kan teiken, voorstaan.

Vrystaat Landbou bly by sy posisie dat verbreding van deelname aan die landbousektor slegs deur markgerigte beleid en markgedrewe projekte kan plaasvind. “Ons lede is nie tweedehandse landsburgers nie en sal ons aanhou veg vir ʼn regverdige bestel waar eiendomsreg van alle landsburgers beskerm word.”, het Wilken gesê.

VL gaan sy lede bemagtig om die Vrystaatse-been en finale ronde van die publieke verhore oor die Onteieningswetsontwerp (indien dit gaan plaasvind) by te woon en beswaar in te dien oor enige verwysing na onteiening sonder vergoeding.