Northern Cape expropriation list a desperate election tactic

Saai is shocked at the blatant misdeeds by the ANC in the Northern Cape, who has released a list of 30 farms to be targeted for expropriation without compensation. This is an uncomfortable reminder of the Zimbabwean land grabs since 2000 – politically connected cadres identifying any farms to their liking, with experienced and internationally competitive land owners and producers then being driven off their farms without compensation.

The ANC has been speaking with a forked tongue on expropriation since December 2017. While President Ramaphosa gave the international investment community in New York and Davos the assurance that right of ownership was safe here, no explanation has ever been given of how Minister Maite Mashabane of Rural Development and Land Reform unlawfully expropriated the Akkerland farm in Limpopo at a quarter of market value.

A partnership between AfriForum, Limpopo Landbou, Solidariteit and TLU-SA successfully overturned this expropriation – a huge embarrassment to the state – and obtained cost orders against the Minister, the land claims commissioner and the registrar of deeds

The release by the ANC in the Northern Cape of a list of 30 farms earmarked for expropriation without compensation puts a huge question mark over the integrity of the ANC’s leadership as well as the party’s internal command structure. This controversial list, together with ANC Northern Cape’s statement in this regard, has also been discussed with embassies – several of South Africa’s major trading partners have already expressed concern about the ANC’s flouting of the property clause (Article 17) of the UN Declaration of Human Rights.

This action puts further pressure on the President’s office, and on his advisory board on land reform, to come clean about the moral issues of land reform and to explain how requiring an individual land owner to foot the bill for a national responsibility can be fair or just.

Saai was established with a view to creating a network of all organisations and parties who can assist farmers in such a situation. Saai invites agricultural unions, business structures, civic organisations and parties who can contribute to stopping injustice over a wide front, to join forces.

Saai will leave no stone unturned to assist the land owners concerned, and hopes to involve other agricultural structures as well.