New home in Russia: Yet another White South African farmer family is seeking safety in Russia as land seizure looms and statistics show that farm prices in South Africa have plunged by a third since December alone! The irony that communist policies, taught to the ANC leaders, by the Russians is now the cause of Farmers fleeing to Russia, is almost surreal if it were not so tragic. Not that communists have ever cared about people’s suffering or even hesitated when it comes to ethnic cleansing…
Johannes Du Toit and his father Leon Francois visited to Russia’s Kaluga region, located around three hours by car from Moscow. They are visiting Russia because they believe the country may become a refuge, should the situation in South Africa deteriorate further.
The Du Toit family are Afrikaners, descendants of French Protestants who fled religious persecution in Europe over three centuries ago. Running on the myth that White people own some 70 percent of private land in South Africa, its current regime uses this often misquoted line to try confiscate land without compensation in favor of blacks, claiming it will fix alleged historical injustice.
The Agricultural Business Chamber said this week the Agbiz/IDC agribusiness confidence index has declined to the lowest in more than two years.
Statistics show farm prices in South Africa have plunged by a third since December. The average price of agricultural land sold in July was 9,318 rand ($613) a hectare compared with 13,700 rand, according to economist and chairman of Agri Development Solutions, Johann Bornman.
Agriculture output shrank 29 percent in the second quarter from the previous three months, the most among all industries. The sector employs 843,000 people, almost double the number of jobs in mining.
“The root of pessimism” is lingering policy uncertainty and weak economic growth, said Wandile Sihlobo, the head of agribusiness research at the chamber.
Massive declines in the agricultural and other sectors that dragged the South African economy into recession after nearly a decade of growth come as a result of the ruling party’s planned land reforms. The African National Congress seeks a constitutional amendment which it says is needed to correct racially skewed land-ownership patterns.
Cyril Ramaphosa has embraced the plan to expropriate land from white farmers without compensation and redistribute it to the landless black majority. He insists there won’t be a land grab, claiming that any policy changes won’t be allowed to damage farming production or the economy.
“The lack of clarity regarding the land-reform policy proposal, particularly expropriation without compensation, remains a key risk that could potentially undermine investment and long-run growth prospects in the sector,” Sihlobo said.
“If the government starts saying ‘we can take land without paying for it because of what had happened many centuries ago,’ my children will not pay for the alleged sins of their forefathers,” Johannes said.
Choosing Russia as a potential destination for resettlement is probably not that strange for Johannes. He’s been there before, and it’s where he met his wife Darya. He even wants to change his name to be more Russian if he moves there, choosing the moniker Ivan Leonovich Vahrushev.
“I myself believe that there is a future in Russia for my family,” he said.
What he hopes to find in Russia for his baby daughter and any future children is safety – something which he believes South Africa cannot offer his family.
“We have had family members who have been murdered…we have suffered crime. It’s a daily reality. That is not what I want for my children,” he explained.
As for Russia’s famously cold winters, Johannes says he would take a Siberian winter over summer in the Kalahari Desert any day.