28 Feb 2018
Expropriation without compensation as a policy is an acknowledgement by Government that they have no confidence in their own ability to implement it in an orderly and corrupt-free environment to protect our food security in South Africa. The combination of land, capital, skills and labour are the basic components to produce food to all of us, especially those living in the cities. If you remove one of them, food production is compromised!
Every single African country, except South Africa, is currently food insecure. There are either not enough food, too expensive food or unsafe food or all of the above. For many months, South Africans were listening to politicians for days on end denying corruption and state capture. We felt the brunt of people messing with our electricity and water which caused defenceless people to die. We still have not discovered the extent to which taxpayers’ money has been stolen or wasted. The past two months we were filled with new hope of a better future. Are we now going to enter a new phase where politicians are going to mess with our food too?
Land reform and food security can go hand-in-hand in a corrupt free environment, but expropriation without compensation and food security is nowhere to be found on this Continent. Government self-admitted that 90% of the farms bought for land reform purposes are lying fallow - a total of over 4 000 farms. If those 4 000 farms are increased substantially, South Africa will not have enough production to live from. This current state of affairs with land reform farms, is no guarantee for food security. These actions will further erode another fundamental human right in our Constitution, namely the right to food. Yes, South Africa can import, but the maize price will more than double overnight. Food inflation will reach double digits resulting in social- and economic instability. No private title deeds, no food security. The average grain farmer in this country borrows between R5 and R8 million per annum to plant a crop for us (and the livestock) to eat. It is only possible to borrow if farmers offer their title deeds to the Bank as security to obtain a loan in order to buy seed, fertilizer, diesel and chemicals to control the weeds and insects. Never mind the tractors and planters. Most of our new black grain farmers with access to land are going nowhere because they cannot access finance due to Government not transferring title deeds to beneficiaries. Land reform without title deeds equals nationalisation.
No title deed, no loan, no production. The National Credit Act does not allow a financial institution to lend money to anybody without proper security. Before any politician can even think to expropriate land without compensation, they need to tell us, the people whom they representing, where our food is going to come from.
“Grain South Africa is in favour of land reform within the confines of the current Constitution. There are many ways to speed it up and to do it in a responsible way to keep the economy going and to keep South Africa food secure.” Jannie de Villiers, CEO of Grain SA said. Expropriation without compensation is not an option.
Grain SA Communications
Jannie de Villiers, CEO, Grain SA
086 004 7246 | firstname.lastname@example.org