South Africa 28.6.2018 12:50 pm

LISTEN: Why AfriForum is against land expropriation without compensation

AfriForum deputy CEO Ernst Roets, left, and CEO Kallie Kriel while in the US to garner support.  Image:  Twitter/Ernst Roets

AfriForum deputy CEO Ernst Roets, left, and CEO Kallie Kriel while in the US to garner support. Image: Twitter/Ernst Roets

AfriForum says instead of amending the Constitution the state should focus on protecting individuals’ rights to property ownership.

Today is the second day of the Constitutional Review Committee’s nationwide tour of public hearings on the possible review of section 25 of the Constitution to make it possible for the state to expropriate land without compensation.

The committee has formed teams to conduct the public hearings and cover all the provinces. This morning one team held hearings in Mokopane, Limpopo, while the other got under way in Upington, Northern Cape.

Minority interest group AfriForum have attended the hearings from the word go, with the organisation’s regional head in the Upington area, Jan Badenhorst, representing the group at the hearings in the Northern Cape.

Badenhorst told the Mail & Guardian this morning that AfriForum was attending the public hearings to state its case on the proposal to amend section 25 of the Constitution.

“We as AfriForum believe that that is not the way to go, and we are against expropriation without compensation, as it will have a detrimental impact on our South African economy, on the society, on employment rates, and that is why we are sticking to what we are saying, that that is not the solution,” Badenhorst said.

He said instead of amending the Constitution to allow the state to expropriate land without compensation, the focus should be on protecting individuals’ rights to property and to ownership of property.

“Because this expropriation without compensation comes down to nationalisation of property, and property in general – not only agricultural property, but all property because property in the Constitution is very widely interpreted, and is not only focused on agricultural land. That is not the way to go in terms of this legislation and the amendment of the Constitution,” Badenhorst said.

He said the policy would also drive away international investors, adding that already there are talks of this manifesting.

Listen to Badenhorst below:

During public hearings in Limpopo yesterday, the group tweeted that most attendees do not support the policy of land expropriation without compensation.

“The open meeting on land expropriation without compensation in Marble Hall has run smoothly so far. Most comment from individuals so far seems to suggest that they are against land expropriation without compensation. Willem van Jaarsveld, Agri Limpopo, says the organisation is against any changes of Art25 [Section 25],” the organisation tweeted.

However, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema had a differing view of the majority of comments made by members of the public during the hearing in the province yesterday.

Talking to journalists about what had led to the heated argument between him and Cope leader Terror Lekota, Malema said: “He’s [Lekota] crying, he is going to cry tears, the people want the section to be amended, there’s nothing he can do about it, Cope does not have people, Terror is the membership of Cope, he is the leadership of Cope.”

Lekota is fiercely opposed to the expropriation of land without compensation.

During his debate of the State of the Nation Address, Lekota said: “Section 25 [of the Constitution] says that no one may be deprived of their property. It also says that where expropriation happens it must be with compensation.”

READ MORE: Lekota lays into Ramaphosa over land expropriation

 

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