02 October 2020
PRETORIA – Civil rights movement AfriForum says the admission by government, that almost 900 farms which belong to the state and extend over 700 000 hectares, are underused or not used at all once again confirms that the radical land reform in the form of expropriation without compensation is heading for disaster.
Ernst Roets, head of policy and action at AfriForum said the government’s actions with regard to land reform clearly indicate that its aim is not to transfer the land to private ownership.
“Neither is it to ensure food and economic security. Government’s aim is to make the state the owner of the land, who will then decide on how the land is being managed – ostensibly to the benefit of society,” said Roets.
“This was indeed confirmed when government admitted earlier that more than 90 percent of land reform projects had failed, but that it would not prevent it from continuing with state-driven land reform. It was reconfirmed when it became known that only six percent of agricultural land procured by the state had been transferred to private ownership.”
AfriForum said seemingly, government believes a failed policy will work if pursued aggressively.
“It is as if government believes that a failed government policy will work if the policy is enforced more aggressively – moreover, with the blind believe [belief] that it will not lead to an even more aggressive failure,” said Roets.
Roets said AfriForum believes that injustices regarding land should be corrected by transferring ownership to those who have been deprived of the land, rather than to the state. He said this should be achieved through compensation, and differs from “blind redistribution programmers” that are based on race.
“The state is pursuing race targets – uncontrollably and with no regard for the destructive impact that it will have on society as a whole,” he said.