Thousands oppose land reform policy

THE public have until tomorrow (Friday) to register their opposition to land expropriation without compensation, a government policy which has already seen tens of thousands of South Africans voicing their opposition to it.

Within five days of the Institute of Race Relations (IRR) making public its submission to the Joint Constitutional Review Committee opposing the land policy, more than 12 000 citizens had endorsed the submission.

By Tuesday, that figure had jumped to more than 34 000.

The IRR will hand over the endorsements in parliament on Friday.

‘The detailed submission is underpinned by research showing that a future in which sizable numbers of black commercial farmers are assisted into business, securely holding their land, is by no means beyond South Africa’s reach – provided the necessary conditions are put in place,’ said the IRR.

It warned of a stunted economy and jeopardising of democracy should expropriation without compensation be put in place.

‘The huge numbers of South Africans from all communities and all walks of life endorsing the IRR submission reflects mounting anxiety about the threat to property rights.’

The IRR’s submission emphasises that:

• Property rights are a critical asset for the well-being and advancement of all South Africans

• Property rights are not the reason land reform has failed

• There is little demand from poor people to go back to the land

• Expropriation without compensation will cause great economic and political damage

• There are much better ways, which require urgent attention, to help emerging farmers succeed.

‘Detailed research-based submissions of this kind are critical to informed and constructive public participation.

‘Without expertly drafted submissions, few citizens are in a position to respond to a subject as complex and far-reaching as changing the status of property rights as a means of advancing land reform,’ the IRR said.

It will take its campaign overseas later this month.

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  AUTHOR
Tamlyn Jolly
Journalist

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