Here's why I am all for the ANC's land expropriation plans

by , 17 January 2018
Here's why I am all for the ANC's land expropriation plans
During its December conference the ANC vowed that, it would expropriate land and put it in the hands of the people.

The news is full of headlines like:

ANC NEC wants land expropriation 'urgently'
 
The ANC is making false promises of land expropriation
 
#Ramaphosa says ruling party is committed to land expropriation
 
And I can already see the pictures in the newspapers are trying to put in our heads…
 
People being chased off their land like in Zimbabwe a decade or so ago.
 
The farms being taken away are split up between hundreds of people.
 
But I simply do not think that’s what the ANC means.
 
I might be wrong. In that case, I need to add a disclaimer: I am pro property rights, and I believe that property owners’ rights should be protected in all cases.
 
However, there’s a very good case for a specific form of land expropriation in South Africa.
    
        
 
 
How 22 million people could own their own land – without prejudicing current land owners
 
According to Prof Steven Friedman, the director of the Centre for the Study of Democracy at the University of Johannesburg, the ANC’s land expropriation plans are probably not as radical as the newspapers  make them out to be.
 
According to Friedman: “The ANC has endorsed the change, but, according to the chair of its economic transformation committee, Enoch Godongwana, only if two conditions are met. It must not threaten food security or impact on the rest of the economy. This almost certainly means that the resolution means the opposite of what is reported– in effect, it rejected changing the constitution to allow expropriation without compensation.”
 
The most important bit regarding the ANC’s decisions at the policy conference was barely reported upon:
 
“According to an ANC briefing at the conference, it decided that control over land should rest with communities, not chiefs. In principle, this should enable rural people to stop traditional leaders using land for their own purposes at their expense, which has brought "state capture"to the countryside and has triggered conflict.”
 
In the words of Obed Bapela‚ the deputy minister of traditional affairs: “That land belongs to the people and we resolved that 13% of the land under the custodianship of traditional leaders be transferred to the people who live in those communities”
 
The reference to 13% points to the fact that traditional leaders control 13% of the total land area in South Africa. And clearly, by ANC resolution, this land must be given to the people and not remain in control of a select few based on their lineage.
 
So – far from selling all your property and running from the country as a property investor I believe our property rights are still intact.
 
I also believe that government could be standing at the point of implementing a decision, which could give millions a new livelihood and spur our economy.
 
When Thabo Mbeki was president this was already the road we were on. Zuma stopped it – hence his rural support. But it seems under the Ramaphosa administration, sense will prevail.
 
I am certain there will be resistance against this from within the ANC and from tribal leaders. Those with the most to lose. My hope is that the benefits to millions will outweigh that. And that this’ll put an end to the uncertainty that ‘land expropriation’ brings for property investors, no matter what their race.
  
Here’s to unleashing real value
  
Francois Joubert
 
P.S: Discover how to ethically “cheat” your way to property fortunes – without investing a single cent of your own. Click here to find out more…
 

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