Twelve reasons why AfriBusiness does not agree with the Bill on the Regulation of Agricultural Land Ownership:

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  1. The Bill is unconstitutional because it infringes on all citizens’ constitutional rights, especially Article 3 (citizenship), Article 9 (equality on grounds of gender, sex, ethnicity), Article 10 (human dignity) and Article 21 (freedom of movement and residency).
  2. The principles of willing seller/willing buyer, as per any normal realty transaction, are now restricted because agricultural land, regardless of any claim in terms of the Expropriation Act, is now subject to discriminatory regulations in terms of race and ethnicity.
  3. The person who owns agricultural land must, per the Bill, complete a notice with many discriminating questions in terms of race, gender, the owner’s nationality, as well as the size of the agricultural land and any rights registered on the land. The regulation on race and gender is however not applicable to foreigners.
  4. The right to first sale must, if the land has been marked for redistribution, be offered to a black person and thereafter to the Minister of Land Reform. If no black person buys the land and the Minister and the seller by force cannot agree on an amount, the Minister may expropriate the land in terms of existing legislation by approaching the Courts.
  5. The description of foreigners and/or a foreign person is vague and confusing because a person who normally does not reside in South Africa is also regarded as a foreigner with no exclusions of citizens who normally resides in another country.
  6. The founding of a new state department/commission with a budget of R21,3 million, as well as the money which will be spent on procurement and distribution of agricultural land.
  7. In terms of the Bill, the Minister may delegate power to others to make regulations. This action will be ultra vires.
  8. No title deeds will be issued if the processes as stated in the Bill have not been complied with.
  9. As soon as the Bill comes into effect, no foreigner may own land in South Africa, unless a black person, as described in the Employment Equity Act (No. 55 of 1998), owns the controlling (managing) share in the agricultural land.
  10. The Minister has the freedom to determine agricultural ceilings and categories for the classification of agricultural land for redistribution, which will lead to any requirement or regulation seriously restricting owners’ rights.
  11. The Commission’s liability is limited and the Minister is obliged to only once publish a regulation and/or requirement for commentary and may thereafter freely amend it without following any further public participation process.
  12. If an agricultural land owner does not comply with the rules of the Act, he or she may be sentenced to three months in jail or a fine may be imposed.

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