Picture: Daily Dispatch
Picture: Daily Dispatch

The debate on land reform has become more fraught with the recent ANC proposal to exclude courts from the process. In this context, it is worth revisiting the recommendations of the National Development Plan (NDP), which reported about eight years ago.

Expropriation without compensation would have been unthinkable to the national planning commissioners. They focused on building confidence in the commercial primary agriculture and agribusiness sectors to create an environment for skills transfers and co-operation with emerging farmers.

The plan recognised the crucial role of integrated value chains in agriculture to provide a support base for new entrants to small scale high-value farming. The plan recognised that land reform would not be effective in a low-growth environment.

Despite accepting the NDP, the ANC has now stood this reasoning on its head. Taking land without paying will destroy, not enhance, confidence and  retard, not facilitate, skills transfer. It will kill, not engender, growth in the agricultural sector and render land reform ineffective.

It is nonsensical to regard the government as bound by the expropriation resolutions of the 2017 ANC conference, when the same ANC had long ago endorsed and still officially supports the recommendations of the NDP.

Willem Cronje 
Via e-mail

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