Nhlanhla Nene. Picture: BLOOMBERG/SIMON DAWSON
Nhlanhla Nene. Picture: BLOOMBERG/SIMON DAWSON

London — Land expropriation without compensation would be dealt with in a "responsible manner" that addressed social challenges without affecting the economy negatively, Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene said.

The government would have concrete proposals for land reform "on the table" by August, Nene told reporters in London, after a series of meetings with investors. The issue "has the potential to be abused" for political purposes, he said.

A parliamentary committee is looking at amending the Constitution to allow land seizures without compensation, a change the DA says would deter investment and curb agricultural production. The ANC, backed by the EFF, argues that existing mechanisms to address inequalities in land ownership are inadequate.

The ANC decided at its December conference, where it elected Cyril Ramaphosa as leader, to pursue expropriation without compensation and also to change legislation to make the Reserve Bank state owned instead of being in private hands. This is not a priority and the Reserve Bank’s mandate and independence is not in question, Nene said.

SA is committed to fiscal consolidation, both on the revenue and expenditure side, and would look to increase capacity at the South African Revenue Service to improve tax collection, Nene said.

The minister and Treasury officials met Fitch Ratings and Moody’s Investors Service on Monday, Nene said. SA is seeking to avoid a cut to subinvestment grade by Moody’s, which in November put the nation on review for a downgrade.

The Treasury’s team is scheduled to meet investors in New York later this week.