AfriBusiness will not accept expropriation without compensation, no matter if it is driven by the ANC or the EFF.
Land owners should consider the term of president Cyril Ramaphosa as a window period for the hedging of their assets, even if any expropriation without compensation is unlikely to be implemented immediately, says the business organisation.
AfriBusiness CEO Piet le Roux says Ramaphosa’s comments in the House of Traditional Leaders and the EFF’s motion for expropriation without compensation in parliament today are unfortunately not the last on the matter: “With the ANC’s acceptance of the principle of expropriation without compensation a new political landscape was established in South Africa: one where the radical Julius Malema and his EFF’s outrageous policy suddenly became mainstream. Although there is reason to believe that Mr Ramaphosa wants to limit its impact, the reality is that his possible caution is not a guarantee of stability. The contempt of property that is now tolerated and fed is creating all the wrong expectations with voters, laying the foundations for a new, more radical political phase in South Africa.”
Le Roux says AfriBusiness regards the term of Mr Ramaphosa as a window period for landowners: “Landowners in South Africa can prepare for either scenario: both the staving off of expropriation without compensation, and its implementation. On the one hand, it may be that under Ramaphosa, despite his public promises, expropriation without compensation ends up being rejected. AfriBusiness will spare no effort to prevent the latter – and we request the public’s support in this regard.”
“On the other hand,” says Le Roux, “it is necessary to admit that in this new political landscape, despite any attempts by a moderate wing within the ANC, expropriation without compensation might indeed be introduced. Therefore, it is necessary for landowners to regard the current period as a window of opportunity to structure their property in such a way that it is unattractive for expropriation or would result in minimum loss.”
In the interest of hedging property rights, AfriBusiness has in the meantime compiled eight tips for landowners. The tips indicate ways for land to be structured such that it is unattractive for expropriation. The eight tips can be viewed here.
“AfriBusiness supports property rights. We monitor what happens in parliament, deliver input, and take cases to court if necessary. But it would not be wise to put all one’s eggs in the basket of better political decisions. Therefore, we also work to protect our members’ interests – and the public interest – even under the worst possible political leadership.”