Land Expropriation: AfriForum Won’t Sit Back At Zimbabwe-Like “Theft” And DA Will Defend Constitution

 

Afriforum says the ANC’s decision to amend the Constitution to allow for expropriation of land in South Africa without compensation puts South Africa on a road to conflict and is nothing more than a plan to “steal property”, putting South Africa on the Zimbabwe route. The civil rights organization threatened that it will “not sit back” while “properties are being stolen”. The Democratic Alliance (DA) meanwhile said it “will stand firmly behind the property clauses in section 25 of the Constitution”, and accused the ANC of using nothing more than diversion tactics and not protecting the poor.

The DA says ANC is “choosing diversion from the real issues rather than facing up to the real challenges in land reform”.

It says Land Reform in South Africa is not saddled with a flawed Constitution but is characterized by the following:

  • Enormous failure of land reform projects in its care;
  • Massive corruption and mismanagement;
  • A hesitancy to provide the poor with private title deeds;
  • Poor administration of land claims and related processes; and
  • Poor resource and budget allocation by an incapable state.
The DA said the Constitution has been “misrepresented” as protecting the property rights of a few at the expense of the many, rather than what it truly is; “a Constitution that protects the property rights of the poor and vulnerable against arbitrary loss to a rapacious and divisive state driven by narrow interests”.

It is exactly to protect against governments – like what the ANC has become – that the Constitution was drafted, said Thomas Walters, DA Shadow Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, in a media statement.

 He said the ANC should rather be looking at how the Constitution can extend property rights to more South Africans “thus including more people in ownership in the economy, and protecting the rights of such first-time property owners”.

AfriForum went one step further to say amending the Constitution to allow expropriation without compensation “boils down to a decision to commit theft and to place the country on the same road of destruction that Zimbabwe followed in its violation of property rights.”

According to Kallie Kriel, CEO of AfriForum, respect of property is the cornerstone of a successful economy. “Countries that violate property rights are characterised by unemployment, poverty, and economical decline. The ANC’s decision to violate property rights will therefore be to the detriment of everyone in the country, except the small group of elites who will benefit from the ANC’s plan,” Kriel says.

“The ANC’s plan to steal will not only destroy the economy of South Africa, but will also put the country on a road of renewed friction and conflict.

“AfriForum, its members and others who have worked hard for what they have will not sit back and watch while their properties are being stolen,” Kriel concludes.

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