Busa CEO Tanya Cohen. Picture: KATHERINE MUICK-MERE
Busa CEO Tanya Cohen. Picture: KATHERINE MUICK-MERE

Business has warned that land reform without compensation should be done within the limits of the Constitution.

In a written submission to the constitutional review committee seen by Business Day, Business Unity SA (Busa), the voice of organised business, said it was concerned about any amendments to the Constitution that could spook investors.

"In reality, it is the challenges and failures associated with the implementation of land reform that have led to perceptions that the current constitutional framework has failed," the submission reads.

The committee was established to review the Constitution to make it possible for the state to expropriate land.

Busa CEO Tanya Cohen said the Constitution already allowed for land reform to be addressed and any amendments would deter already wary investors.

"When we attended the road shows earlier this year, one of the key issues investors raised with us is land and security of property and if they are going to come and invest in the country, how do they know that the Constitution isn’t going to be amended," she said.

"There is no doubt that policy uncertainty has been cited for the low levels of both domestic and foreign investment and this has been reinforced by the ratings agencies that have outlined that this has undermined our ability to attract investment."

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s special investment envoys warned at a roundtable on Wednesday that foreign investors were worried about low growth and policy uncertainty.

Former Standard Bank CEO Jacko Maree said: "SA is the most complicated place to invest in. Investors want policy certainty. They say, give us 10 years of certainty around the Mining Charter or anything else. Every time there’s a new minister, there can’t be a new policy."

Ramaphosa aims to raise $100bn in investment in the next five years.

menons@businesslive.co.za