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The banking sector did not support the expropriation of land without compensation, Banking Association SA (Basa) MD Cas Coovadia said Monday. Coovadia’s comments were made at a function of the Cape Town Press Club but were qualified by the statement that the banking sector acknowledged that land reform was a legitimate issue that had to be addressed. Expropriation he said would erode property rights and would mean that land could no longer serve as collateral for loans. Currently the public and private sector has loaned R180bn to agriculture. Coovadia said expropriation would discourage investment in farm technology and innovation, both of which drive productivity. There was also the danger of international disinvestment and the risk of losing benefits from initiatives such as the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act which was adopted by the US Congress to give free access of certain products to the US market to exporters from Africa. Coovadia reiterated Basa’s opposition to the propos...

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