The Expropriation Bill will hinder service delivery and opportunities, claim TLU SA after Gauteng residents pleaded with members of the portfolio committee on public works to fast-track its implementation.
This, argued representatives of Orange Farm, should be done in the wake of the Covid-19 because it would result in them getting faster access to public healthcare, a police station, better housing, jobs and other economic opportunities.
Some, however, shared TLU SA’s sentiments. They cautioned that rampant government corruption had to be stopped or the expropriation implementation “would go the route of Zimbabwe where politicians and senior civil servants handed out land to friends and family members.”
“Who, in their right mind, would want to invest in a country where the Constitution, as well as legislation, states the government can confiscate assets without paying for it?” asked Henry Geldenhuys, the president of TLU SA.
The farmers’ organisation said some of the comments at the Gauteng public hearing made it clear “that participants have no idea of the implications this bill holds.
“Thus it is up to the ad hoc group for the protection of private ownership to warn the public about the consequences for the country if the bill is implemented.”
“Clearly, they don’t realise that progress is a direct result of economic growth created by investment in the country,” said Geldenhuys.
“We deplore the ignorance of someone who cannot grasp the importance of foreign investments as the foundation of economic growth. It is, however, our responsibility to cement that principle – not just with ordinary people, but with politicians as well.”
As part of a group of more than 50 organisations, including the agriculture sector, TLU SA meets regularly to discuss issues that threaten private ownership of land.
The KwaZulu-Natal public hearings on the proposed Expropriation Bill is scheduled for 20 to 23 May 2021. New dates for the Free State hearings will be set pending further assessment of the spread of Covid-19 in the province.