William Gumede includes seven strict shoulds and eight musts in his integrated land reform model for SA (Twelve Steps to Successful Land Reform, June 11).
He could have saved us this stern homily by reminding us that the Treasury has decided precisely how to “make land accessible”, as section 25.5 insists. It entails replacing all hard-earned income taxes and VAT (R1.1-trillion in 2008) with a 100% tax on land rents. These are a rates-and-taxes-type user charge, excluding improvements.
This constitutionally inspired radical economic transformation was announced in the Treasury’s October 2018 medium-term budget policy statement.
The compensation for any loss of land rents is in being relieved of the expropriation without compensation of all of our hard-earned private property, by income taxes and VAT. It will make all vacant and unused land affordable, at every income level.
It will change each one of our 125-million hectares into a special economic zone, much like Hong Kong’s tax-haven. Then the “shoulds” and “musts” will be for every citizen’s conscience to freely choose, as in section 12.