Farmers’ group Agri SA has reacted with concern to President Ramaphosa’s recent announcement that the ANC intends to amend the constitution on expropriation without compensation.    

“We are currently in a consultation process where South Africans are participating in a process of review – we have actually taken the time to participate in this process – and this announcement by the governing party, serves only to undermine the process underway,” said Dan Kriek, President of Agri SA.

“SA needs more black farmers and black farms. Constitutional amendments – and, even worst-case, expropriation without compensation (EWC) - may make for good electioneering but it doesn’t make more black farmers” Kriek warned.

He said EWC and economic growth are “diametrically contrasted” – and nowhere in the world has this worked in any shape or form.

“Agrarian reform can only happen successfully working hand in hand, in partnership, with the private sector,” said Omri van Zyl, Executive Director of Agri SA.

“We have seen this movie play out all over the world – Venezuela, Russia – the promise for emerging farmers of tools, fertilizer, seeds and extension services are superficial. Many have promised this as election ploys– and yet the outcome is always catastrophic for agriculture and food security” suggested van Zyl.

Kriek charged that this was “irresponsible electioneering” and said that the leaders of our country should be more vigilant and responsible when it comes to the future of the economy and job creation for all South Africans.  
“We are a full and active participant in the upcoming ANC jobs summit – this position will not encourage us to invest in the sector to create more jobs,” van Zyl remarked.

“This is a populist move from the ANC that will lead to an economic downgrade – massive capital exodus and a contagion effect of all property and intellectual property classes.

“There will be a dramatic effect on the commercial, residential and property investment space.”

Kriek said that while this is “an irresponsible move by the ANC” should the party really want to address job creation and poverty alleviation – “Agri SA is willing to talk.”

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