As parliament adopted a report recommending that the constitution be amended to allow land expropriation without compensation, more evidence emerged of the harm the policy is causing to agriculture. Latest data from the Agricultural Business Chamber and Industrial Development Corporation’s Agribusiness confidence index released on Tuesday showed that the index plummeted to a nine-year low. A few hours later, 209 MPs voted in favour of the proposed amendment, with 91 against. President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement late in July that the ANC would seek a change in the constitution to explicitly allow for the state to take land without paying for it — though conceding that the step was probably unnecessary — unnerved investors, sparking a sharp drop in the rand. That marked the end of the "Ramaphoria" that accompanied his replacement of Jacob Zuma as president in February. The move sparked debate about the future of property rights and gave rise to concerns that Ramaphosa, who narrowl...

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