South Africa: Seizure of land from White farmers begins

Discussion in 'Africa' started by kazenatsu, Aug 23, 2018.

  1. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    South Africa's government has begun seizing land from white farmers, targeting two game farms in the Northern province of Limpopo after talks with the owners to buy the properties collapsed.

    by Paul Withers, Express, August 20, 2018

    President Cyril Ramaphosa on land expropriation proposals
    Johannesburg-based newspaper City Press reported owners Akkerland Boerdery wanted 200 million rand (£16.7m) for the land, but that the country’s government were willing to offer them just a tenth of that at 20 million rand (£1.67m).

    A letter sent to the owners earlier this year had said: "Notice is hereby given that a terrain inspection will be held on the farms on April 5, 2018 at 10am in order to conduct an audit of the assets and a handover of the farm’s keys to the state."

    Akkerland Boerdery immediately took out an urgent injunction to prevent eviction until a court had ruled on the issue, but the Department of Rural Development and Land Affairs has refused the application.

    Annelie Crosby, spokeswoman for the agricultural industry association AgriSA, told City Press: "What makes the Akkerland case unique is that they apparently were not given the opportunity to first dispute the claim in court, as the law requires."

    ANC spokesman ZiZi Kodwa refused to reveal details of the farms being targeted and has attempted to cal investor fears, adding the proposed seizures were “tied to addressing the injustices of the past”.

    He told City Press: "Over time I think the markets as well as investors will appreciate that what we are doing is creating policy certainty and creating the conditions for future investment."

    Tensions among South Africa’s white farming community has been escalating since the election of Cyril Ramaphosa as President earlier the year, who committed his African National Congress (ANC) to land expropriation.

    Last week, ANC chairman Gwede Mantashe sparked panic among the farming community when he said:
    "You shouldn’t own more than 25,000 acres of land. Therefore if you own more it should be taken without compensation. People who are privileged never give away privilege as a matter of a gift. And that is why we say, to give you the tools, revisit the constitution so that you have a legal tool to do it."

    A record number of white South African farmers have put their land up for sale amid fears the ruling party is considering confiscating properties bigger than 25,000 acres.

    The government was accused of drawing up a list of almost 200 farms it allegedly wants to seize from white farmers, with AfriForum, a civil rights group representing the white Afrikaner minority, adding the document was being circulated by ministers as the ruling powers prepare to implement the policy.

    It invited farmers to check if they were on it and urged them to make contact "so we can prepare a joint legal strategy".
    Is this new policy going to result in flight of capital and accelerate South Africa's economy into poverty status?


    South Africa to change constitution to legalize taking away White farmers' land

    South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has said the ruling African National Congress must initiate a parliamentary process to enshrine in the constitution a proposed amendment, paving the way for land grabs without compensation.
    Ramaphosa, who vowed to return the lands owned by the white farmers since the 1600s to the country's black population after he assumed office in February this year, said on Tuesday that the ANC would introduce a constitutional amendment in parliament.

    The ANC will through the parliamentary process finalize the proposed amendment to the constitution that outlines more clearly the conditions under which expropriation of land without compensation can be effected," Ramaphosa, a prominent trade union leader and a close associate of Nelson Mandela, said in a televised address on Tuesday.

    The millionaire ex-businessman argued that "it has become pertinently clear that our people want the constitution to be more explicit" about the proposal, which is viewed by the South African white minority as forceful expulsion.

    There have been growing fears that the planned expropriation will deal a blow to commercial farming in the country and might put it on the verge of a food production crisis, like the one that struck Zimbabwe when it unleashed as similar crackdown on white farmers in 1999-2000.

    Promoting his plan to boost land redistribution in March, Ramaphosa sought to assure white citizens, who constitute roughly nine percent of the total population, that the government would handle the controversial matter through "dialog, discussion, engagement, until we find good solutions that take our country forward."

    "There is no reason for anyone of us to panic and start beating war drums," he said at the time, noting that nothing should prevent farming activities from continuing as normal.

    However, many of the Boers, descendants of Dutch settlers in South Africa, do not take the government's promises at face value, instead seeking asylum abroad from what they say is a surge in violence and government-fueled hostility against them.

    Last month, a call from Australian Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton to provide emergency visas for South Africa's white farmers, who are reportedly facing persecution at home.
    https://www.rt.com/news/434784-south-africa-amendemnt-land-expropriation/
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2018
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  2. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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