Ramaphosa must desist from ‘populist rhetoric’ on land expropriation – AgriSA

Newly elected president of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa. Source: GCIS

South African agricultural industry association, AgriSA, appealed to newly elected president Cyril Ramaphosa at the weekend to desist from what it calls “populist rhetoric” with regard to the expropriation of land.

Executive director Omri Van Zyl believes that Ramaphosa’s declaration of support for land expropriation without compensation during the State of the Nation Address was contradictory to his acknowledgement of agriculture as the largest contributor to economic growth and job creation as well as his intentions to grow the sector through investment.

“Not only does it subvert the letter and the spirit of Section 25 of our National Constitution, but it also entrenches the perception that the governing party has no regard for the founding principles of our newly founded democracy,” he said. “Undermining the notion of private ownership and still expecting the private sector to enthusiastically embrace partnerships between themselves and the state will not happen.”

Van Zyl has recommended that Ramaphosa rather engage with the commercial industry to find “amicable” solutions to the land question and noted that AgriSA was developing its own land transformation plan.

“The land transformation plan will be commercially driven and will aim to increase national production significantly without having to change the constitution,” he added.

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