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Section 104 of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa), which gives Africa significant preferential export rights to the US, requires a commitment to private property rights. Expropriation without compensation flies in the face of this. Are we really going to throw away an advantage that is worth hundreds of millions of rand a year?

Land reform has not failed because of a lack of willing sellers, but due to the failure of the government to implement it properly, resulting in properties tied up in “land claims” for decades. Are those properties now just going to be confiscated? The shift in government rhetoric has been away from expropriation of “land” to “property” — in other words not just the land but all improvements and structures. What happens to the bonds on those properties? Are the banks going to have to suck it up, or will the previous owners be made to continue paying? This could have huge implications for the banking sector...

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