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Sober debate on land welcomed, but uncertainty regarding compensation persists


“Agri SA welcomes the in-depth and sober debate on the land issue that took place within ANC ranks during the weekend,” said Ernest Pringle, chair of Agri SA’s Centre of Excellence on Land Affairs.

The ANC leadership’s acknowledgement that a lack of implementation had played a major role in the failure of land reform programmes to date is an important step forward. Welcomed also is the proper deliberation of recommendations in the report released by the High-Level Panel on Key Legislation which clearly spells out the real obstacles to land reform.

Also positive is the strong emphasis on the importance of urban housing and the potential of unlocking land in communal areas to the benefit of those communities. Commercial agricultural land is but one element of land reform.Urban land and communal areas are two very important elements that have been overlooked in the debate to date.

Agri SA finds it disappointing, however, that the uncertainty around the ANC’s position regarding the amendment, or otherwise, of section 25 has apparently not been resolved.

This uncertainty and lack of clarity as to what type of land could be targeted for expropriation without compensation and how this will happen are having a negative impact on the sector and the economy in general.

Agri SA’s position is that the Constitution should not be amended. The organisation will this week submit its commentary on the matter of expropriation without compensation to the Constitutional Review Committee.

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