LETTER: A long lease does not offer the bond that ownership does
ANC stuck in the mire of a discredited quest to control the levers of power
Another judgment has been handed down excoriating the idiotic stance of the ANC government on land reform. Do they not get it?
Long leases may give some security of tenure and banks might (depending on their terms) lend against them to enable the development of productive farms or the building of homes (I wouldn’t). But a long lease does not give the tenant the emotional and legal bond of ownership, which would enable him/her to work and take on risk today, to develop an enhanced asset for a family’s long-term future.
That lack of incentive grows worse as the remaining term of the lease grows shorter and the time for handing it all back to the state gets closer.
The problem is the one we see all over the place — in minerals and energy, in state ownership of Eskom and SAA, in the coming disaster of National Health Insurance — namely that the ANC and its allies are still stuck in the mire of a stale and discredited quest to control the levers of power and means of production, and not to let private enterprise see the light of day.
It hasn’t worked anywhere in the world and it won’t work here. It is quite astonishing that in all the orchestrated frenzy for expropriation without compensation no one has tumbled to the fact that after expropriation no one, not even ANC supporters of the right ethnic background, is actually going to get any of that property to call their own.
Of course, there are people in the ANC who have their heads screwed on the right way, Tito Mboweni for one, but they are seen as traitors to the cause and are twisting in the wind.