The move to amend section 25 of South Africa’s Constitution – to allow for land expropriation without compensation – has failed. On this weekend’s episode of Farmer’s Inside Track, Annelize Crosby, head of land and legal affairs at Agri SA, weighs in on the matter.
The proposed amendment failed at parliamentary level, having attracted less than the mandatory two-thirds of the parliamentary vote. Crosby says that Agri SA welcomes the outcome.
“The land debate over the last decade or so has become increasingly radical, and we are hoping that this attempt to amend section 25 is now the end of this radical approach towards land reform. We realise that a lack of land reform is probably linked to this climate of radicalism around land.”
Title deeds are an important part of the conversation, adds Crosby, explaining that it is a mechanism of true empowerment for South Africans.
“We believe that the outcome of the debate is positive for the future of South Africa. It is critically important that we now make real progress with land reform in a sustainable manner and we believe that this should happen within the existing policy and legislative framework.”
Crosby points to the Blended Finance Programme and the draft Agricultural Master Plan as potential tools to address the lack of progress on land reform more effectively. She says Agri SA hopes that these programmes will lead to growth and investment in the agricultural sector, as well as agricultural expansion.
“We believe that the findings of the high-level panel report in 2017 were spot on and that section 25 is never an impediment to land reform. There is actually a long list of other factors named by the high-level panel, and those include things like a budget that was never sufficient, poor implementation, corruption and a lack of political will.”
Crosby says the next move for the sector is to review the recommendations made by the 2017 report and to ensure that land reform policies are implemented effectively. “We need to make sure that the agricultural master plan and the blended financing programmes are implemented as soon as possible.”
Other podcast highlights
This week’s episode also features agricultural lawyer Katlego Ngwane and Dr Jack Armour, commercial manager of Free State Agriculture. Click on any of the links below to listen to the discussion:
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