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Land expropriation a pretext for nationalisation, says FF+

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The proposed ANC programme of expropriation without compensation “will, from a political perspective, lead to unforeseen consequences,” including the invasion of farms, where people will force the government to “expropriate without compensation, and they [the ANC government] won’t have any argument to say we are not going to do it.” This is the view of Freedom Front Plus (FF+) Leader, Dr Pieter Groenewald.

Speaking to Political Analysis South Africa on Thursday, 1 March, Groenewald warned, “once you have opened the gate [of land expropriation without compensation], you won’t be able to close it.”

The Freedom Front Plus Leader says “expropriation is not going to solve the problem” and that it is rather “the inability of the department [of Rural Development and Land Reform] that is causing the delay. The former Minister, Gugile Nkwinti, admitted in Parliament that 90% of the land obtained for redistribution, the projects were failures. We [South Africa] could have avoided his situation if the government department did its job properly.”

He also explains “what people don’t always recognise is that 93% of land restitution beneficiaries preferred money, they didn’t want the land, they wanted the money.”

Groenewald believes the proposed ANC policy of expropriation without compensation is a copout, “because the ANC is now arguing that the principle of willing buyer, willing seller does not work, and that it is the reason they cannot accelerate land reform, and therefore now need expropriation without compensation. This is a blatant lie. Just in 2016, more than 20,000 farms were on the open market and a lot of them were below market rate because of the drought situation, and at the moment, the government has more than 4,000 farms – it is property of the government. Now why don’t they use those farms and make a success of them?”

In the end, says Groenewald, “land reform is failing from a lack of support from the government side, expropriation without compensation is not going to solve the problem, but it is a blatant smokescreen to in the end just nationalise all land in South Africa. Ultimately, we have a situation here where the governing party [the ANC] is losing support and it is using something popular to create the impression that it will give land to people, and then they [the people] will be rich.”

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