In no way does it take away the critical need to resolve inequality… I’m not sure you fix it by being confusing… There is perhaps some politicking here… it defangs the EFF…— Dr Adrian Saville, Gordon Institute of Business Science
The lack of clarity… is one that needs to be brought into focus. If the outcome is clarity… then we’ll endorse it provided it’s equitable and doesn’t undermine the economic prospects of the country.— Martin Kingston, Business Unity SA
President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Tuesday night that the ANC would amend the Constitution to allow for expropriation of land without compensation.
The ANC says it will not simply take away land, and will balance the people’s need against investor confidence.
We are trying to return land to those who were dispossessed, that’s the challenge we are trying to do. On the other hand, we are trying to do it in a manner which is not disruptive to the economic performance.— Enoch Godongwana
The ANC is yet to finalise the preconditions of expropriations of land without compensation.
It has, however, decided against the nationalisation of land, and that land will only go to people who need it and to “those who are going to use it”.
He also spoke to Martin Kingston, Deputy President of the Board at Business Unity SA (Busa).
Busa statement on President Cyril Ramaphosa’s late-night announcement:
Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) made a written submission on 15 June 2018 to the multiparty Constitutional Review Committee, chaired by MP Vincent Smith, which is tasked with reviewing Section 25 of the Constitution to pave the way for land expropriation without compensation.
As the apex business organisation in the country, Busa has made itself available to participate in parliamentary hearings conducted by the committee to articulate the views of organised business on the issue.
Business is unclear how the announcement made by Cyril Ramaphosa last night (Tuesday) in his capacity as ANC president will affect the process undertaken by the committee.
This potentially introduces another element of policy uncertainty, as there are no modalities currently on the table about a framework of how land expropriation without compensation will be implemented.
Busa’s written submission leant on the findings and the recommendation of the High-Level Panel on Assessment of Key Legislation and Acceleration of Fundamental Change headed by former president Kgalema Motlanthe.
The panel’s core findings and observations were that the requirement to pay compensation is not the biggest stumbling block to land reform.
It also noted there is inadequate differentiation of approaches between pro-poor policies and the development of emerging commercial farmers, and that there is poor implementation of existing policies.
It highlighted legislative gaps, underscored corruption and flagged reluctance to transfer ownership.
In 2017, Busa adopted the “Business Approach to Black Economic Transformation for Inclusive Growth”, which recognises that the pace and depth of transformation within business have been inadequate.
Busa identified four elements to drive transformation within business:
Embed a diversity culture
Education and skills development
Employment, particularly of youth
- Rapid enterprise development of black-owned businesses
Business acknowledges the urgent need to address the persistent effects of apartheid-era land dispossession and recognises the inextricable link between land and the restoration of dignity.
Land reform, and by extension, the furthering and entrenching of property rights to all segments of South African society, has been unacceptably slow and needs to be comprehensively and urgently addressed.
Any clarification of constitutional measures needs to go hand in glove with addressing endemic structural and administrative challenges in implementing land reform.
Business stands ready to work proactively with all stakeholders to achieve these objectives.
Listen to the interview in the audio below (and/or scroll down for more quotes from it).
There was nothing new in it… it was a reiteration of earlier statements… what was unusual was the manner in which the announcement was made… Land ownership and the Constitution are matters of Parliament…— Dr Adrian Saville, Gordon Institute of Business Science
When you’re trying to attract $100 billion in foreign capital… you don’t want to be feeding uncertainty…— Dr Adrian Saville, Gordon Institute of Business Science
If you get this land issue right it can be an incredibly powerful instrument in reform and redress…— Dr Adrian Saville, Gordon Institute of Business Science
We are an economy desperately in need of capital investments.— Dr Adrian Saville, Gordon Institute of Business Science
…the issue of land reform has manifestly not been addressed… It’s been unacceptably slow… it must be dealt with in a manner that provides certainty…— Martin Kingston, Business Unity SA
I have absolutely no doubt that the ANC will go through due process… if making amendments is necessary… then we must do so…— Martin Kingston, Business Unity SA
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