Activist group AfriForum is seeking to garner international support for its campaign against the ANC’s policy of land expropriation without compensation.
It plans to send a delegation to the United States next week “to launch the first leg of the organisation’s international campaign against expropriation without compensation,” it announced on Tuesday.
“The organisation plans on meeting with government representatives, research institutions, the media and potential investors abroad. AfriForum plans on mobilising the international community to pressurise the South African government into setting aside its expropriation policy.
“Government’s attempts to expropriate land without compensation have a clear racist motive.”
Said Ernst Roets, Deputy CEO of AfriForum: “Government’s viewpoint on land reform presents three core problems:
- The policy is based on a distortion of South Africa’s history.
- The allegation that there is a great demand for land is false – especially regarding agricultural land.
- In terms of Government’s interference in land ownership so far, results have been catastrophic.”
Afriforum argued: “The distortion of the past relates to the assumption that white land owners inevitably obtained land through oppression, whereas most of the land owned by white people was legally bought.
“There were also cases in the 1800s where the Voortrekkers took possession of uninhabited land. Furthermore, it is true that conflict between white and black tribes indeed occurred during the Great Trek.
“However, the fact swept under the carpet is that conflicts for the purpose of conquering land had at that stage been a common practice among black tribes.
“Regarding the demand for agricultural land, AfriForum today revealed that 57,8 percent of land claims up to now had been for urban land – and not agricultural land.
“It is also common knowledge that 93 percent of people who submitted land claims indicated that they preferred financial compensation rather than land restitution. The Institute of Race Relations also found that only one percent of people in South Africa believe that land reform would improve their lives.
“In terms of the third problem, Government conceded that more than 90% of farms that the State had transferred to black owners had failed. Although the South African government has already spent more than R45 billion on land reform, only 6,3% of land procured by the State has been converted to private ownership.9
AfriForum has released a report titled Land in South Africa – A Geospatial Perspective, which was compiled by Burgert Gildenhuys, Executive Director of MapAble. The report argues the following:
“Some 24,03 percent of land in South Africa is state-owned. This land includes land owned by the State, former homelands and parts of former homelands, as well as areas under nature reservation. It can be split per province as follows:
Eastern Cape: 34,65 percent
Free State: 6,5 percent
Gauteng: 19,90 percent
KwaZulu-Natal: 52,32 percent
Limpopo: 42,66 percent
Mpumalanga: 32,72 percent
Northern Cape: 11,20 percent
North West: 31,99 percent
Western Cape: 15,59 percent
Total: 24,03 percent
AfriForum concluded: “Data on land ownership is deficient and should be corrected if an informed decision is to be taken.
”The land issue in South Africa is linked to race. The Land Audit Report 2017 attempted to link land to race. This attempt was inaccurate, however, as data provided by the Department of Home Affairs no longer includes the race of citizens of the country.”