LETTER: Land reform optimism misplaced
Panel’s report backs more state intervention in private property
While the report of the presidential advisory panel on land reform and agriculture may come as a relief to some for giving some endorsement to the importance of property rights — and for not recommending a blanket nationalisation of SA’s land your optimistic reading is misplaced (“Land panel affirms property rights, limits expropriation”, July 29 (https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/national/2019-07-29-land-panel-affirms-property-rights-limits-expropriation/)).
It is difficult not to notice in the report an intention significantly to expand the latitude of the state to intrude into the property of those subject to it. This is expressed in expropriation without compensation, land ceilings, land taxes, possible restrictions on foreign ownership and so on. As a whole, this undermines rather than affirms private property rights. Given the pathologies within the state — already a major problem, which, to its credit, the panel recognised — there is reason for concern about how these w...