Panel report raises red flags for agriculture- South Africa

Agri SA is extremely concerned about several aspects of the Presidential Advisory Panel on Land Reform’s report and particularly the controversial recommendations which include amending the Constitution and land ceilings. Agri SA does not support any policy or legislation that infringes on property rights or any other fundamental right enshrined in the constitution.

“If the recommendations contained in this report are implemented to the letter, food security for all South Africans will be compromised,” says Omri van Zyl, Agri SA Executive Director. “Investor and business confidence are already low, and the last thing we need is further strain on the economy and the agricultural sector.”

Agri SA President, Dan Kriek, was a member of the Presidential Advisory Panel on Land Reform and fully vested himself in this process. However, it became clear that there were fundamental differences in opinion and approach to land reform within the panel. Kriek and fellow panel member, Nick Serfontein, therefor compiled an alternative report with a focus on private sector solutions.

“The alternative report presents identifies common-sensical solutions to land reform, which is lacking in many aspects of the panel report,” says Annelize Crosby, Agri SA Policy Head: Land. “We are strongly of the view that land reform in farming areas will take a huge step forward with the establishment of an agricultural development agency where the private sector takes a leading role in driving and financing sustainable land reform.”

Time-consuming consultation processes that will likely follow the panel report could hamper the implementation of land reform.

“The focus should be on working together and implementing meaningful projects to the betterment of the sector,” says Crosby. “However, should these consultation processes unfold, we will participate fully and make sure that the economic realities, which are not sufficiently addressed in the report, are put on the table.”

Agri SA is also concerned about the motion in Parliament on Thursday that indicates a clear intention by the ruling party to press ahead with the unnecessary and potentially damaging amendment of the property clause.

“This is clearly only being done for political reasons, as it is not warranted and will not solve the land reform problem,” said Crosby.

Agri SA remains committed to our members and the sustainability of the agriculture sector. Agri SA wish to reiterate that we are against any amendment of the Constitution and will leave no stone unturned to protect farmer’s rights.


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