Lobby group AfriForum has admitted that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s criticism of expropriation of land without compensation is a huge boost for its international campaign to mobilise foreign pressure against government’s plans on land.
Speaking at UN’s Economic Commission for Africa in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on Wednesday, Pompeo blasted “failed socialist experiments of years past” in places like Zimbabwe and Tanzania and a proposed constitutional amendment in South Africa that would allow private property to be expropriated without compensation – a plan that seeks to overcome inequalities set down in the apartheid era.
The amendment would be “disastrous for that economy and most importantly for the South African people”, he said.
AfriForum said the South African government must take Pompeo’s warning seriously.
The group’s CEO, Kallie Kriel, said: “As the United States is one of South Africa’s largest trading partners, the South African government needs to take Pompeo’s warning seriously and realise that ideologically driven policies pose serious threats to the country’s economy. Zimbabwe and Venezuela, with their unemployment rate of about 90%, prove that all but the political elite suffer if property rights are violated.”
AfriForum’s head of policy and action, Ernst Roets, and campaign manager Monique Taute have launched the American leg of the group’s #TheWorldMoetWeet campaign.
The campaign involves mobilising foreign pressure against expropriation without compensation.
Said Kriel on the campaign: “Investors are leaving countries where property rights are not respected. AfriForum’s attempt to generate foreign pressure is precisely to ensure that investors put pressure on the South African government to save investments.”
(Compiled by Vhahangwele Nemakonde. Background reporting, AFP)