The civil rights organisation AfriForum today announced that they will oppose the ANC’s attempt to water down property rights in South Africa.

In 2021 the ANC failed to pass the constitutional amendment that would have allowed the expropriation of private property without compensation.

Now an ANC economic policy document has made new proposals on land reform. The paper proposes the creation of an Agricultural Development Agency that will be tasked with creating policy and processes to facilitate land donations to black farmers, and to create incentive mechanisms – such as enabling BEE recognition – for farmers who donate land or provide support to black farmers. This agency will also establish and manage a Land Reform Fund, which the Land Bank will house, and to record and monitor progress on land transactions and advise on partners for black farmers.

This is clearly another veiled attempt by the ANC to meddle with property rights. The chances that this agency will act in a neutral and fair manner is highly doubtful.

The ANC’s claims that the willing buyer, willing seller model has failed is also untrue, seeing as government has spent more than R60 billion on land reform but only an estimated 6.3% of the land purchased has been transferred to private owners. Thus it is the ANC who are unwilling distributors of the land they have hoarded.

The involvement of the Land Bank is also concerning, seeing as the bank has incurred losses worth billions of rands. In 2021 a report by the auditor general found that the Land Bank’s financial losses grew by 211% to R2.8 billion for the year to 31 March 2020, compared to a loss of R902 million in the previous year.

“The fact that the plan includes the allocation of BEE points to land owners who participate, again shows that the ANC is absolutely race obsessed,” says Jacques Broodryk, AfriForum’s Campaigns Manager.

“Even though the ANC has tried to create the illusion that the funds for this project will be collected via donations from the private sector, the policy clearly states that fiscal grants will also be used to fund this project. So once again, it’s the taxpayer who will be footing the bill,” says Broodryk.

The ANC is clearly on the backfoot since their parliamentary failure to legalise government theft of property and are growing increasingly desperate to try and enforce their policies. AfriForum will continue to fight for property rights and will continue to oppose the states continous meddling in property ownership.

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