To ease your site search, article categories are at bottom of page.

August 07, 2008

Expropriation fears, economic pressures cause exodus from South African commercial farming

The current exodus of South African commercial farmers will eventually force the country to buy its food from Botswana, farmers' union Agri SA's chairperson has warned.

Theo de Jager was speaking at a function arranged by the Ad Hoc Committee on the Protection of Property Rights, an informal pressure group established two months ago to raise public awareness of what it believes will be the dire consequences of implementing the controversial Expropriation Bill.

He said many commercial farmers were quitting agriculture in the face of economic pressures, while others had also packed their ploughs for neighbouring countries - like Botswana - to avoid the uncertainty caused by the government's "threats of expropriation."

De Jager said local farmers were "replicating their commercial agricultural ventures" in countries where they were offered better support and did not face the possibility of having their land "nationalised in the public interest."

The Expropriation Bill will, if passed in its current form, allow the public works minister to expropriate any property - not just land - in the public interest.

Dave Steward from the De Klerk Foundation pointed out that a "particularly nasty clause" in this bill would allow the minister to expropriate "any property on behalf of any juristic person where that person has tried to obtain the property through negotiations and failed."

"We view this as a back door clause to allow for a massive expansion of the government's Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment policy," he said, adding that this would effectively allow the minister to nationalise commercial farms and hand them over to BEE companies.

Concerns were also raised that the bill proposes to limit the role of the courts in arbitrating expropriation disputes.

If a property owner is not happy with the amount of compensation being offered, the bill says the courts may refer the matter back to the expropriating authority - appointed by the minister - for reconsideration, creating what Steward described as a "ping-pong effect."
Parliament is due to continue deliberating the bill in the next two weeks.

Article Categories

AGRA agribusiness agrochemicals agroforestry aid Algeria aloe vera Angola aquaculture banana barley beans beef bees Benin biodiesel biodiversity biof biofuel biosafety biotechnology Botswana Brazil Burkina Faso Burundi CAADP Cameroon capacity building cashew cassava cattle Central African Republic cereals certification CGIAR Chad China CIMMYT climate change cocoa coffee COMESA commercial farming Congo Republic conservation agriculture cotton cow pea dairy desertification development disease diversification DRCongo drought ECOWAS Egypt Equatorial Guinea Ethiopia EU EUREPGAP events/meetings exports fa fair trade FAO fertilizer finance fisheries floods flowers food security fruit Gabon Gambia gender issues Ghana GM crops grain green revolution groundnuts Guinea Bissau Guinea Conakry HIV/AIDS honey hoodia horticulture ICIPE ICRAF ICRISAT IFAD IITA imports India infrastructure innovation inputs investment irrigation Ivory Coast jatropha kenaf keny Kenya khat land deals land management land reform Lesotho Liberia Libya livestock macadamia Madagascar maize Malawi Mali mango marijuana markets Mauritania Mauritius mechanization millet Morocco Mozambique mushroom Namibia NEPAD Niger Nigeria organic agriculture palm oil pastoralism pea pest control pesticides pineapple plantain policy issues potato poultry processing productivity Project pyrethrum rai rain reforestation research rice rivers rubber Rwanda SADC Sao Tome and Principe seed seeds Senegal sesame Seychelles shea butter Sierra Leone sisal soil erosion soil fertility Somalia sorghum South Africa South Sudan Southern Africa spices standards subsidies Sudan sugar sugar cane sustainable farming Swaziland sweet potato Tanzania tariffs tea tef tobacco Togo tomato trade training Tunisia Uganda UNCTAD urban farming value addition value-addition vanilla vegetables water management weeds West Africa wheat World Bank WTO yam Zambia Zanzibar zero tillage Zimbabwe

  © 2007 Africa News Network design by Ourblogtemplates.com

Back to TOP