A gaping chasm in the land debate
How do you build a national conversation about the most pressing issue to face the country when the ideological worldviews of two major constituencies are so vastly disparate?
One of the incredible difficulties of discussing expropriation without compensation is the huge breadth in belief. It is not just that people disagree on what should happen, it is that they define issues like “value” completely differently — and various views will have merit. An important constituency in the debate is the group of people who produce most of the country’s food, SA’s farmers. They are represented by Agri SA. Agri SA CEO Omri van Zyl says that so far the debate has not had a direct impact on the amount of food being produced, but it has had an impact on the confidence of investors. This means that the entire (if you’ll excuse the phrase) food chain can be affected. Thus farmers, workers, people in the agribusiness chain, those who sell farm equipment, those who provide services on farms — all could be affected if levels of uncertainty rise, or aren’t dealt with. Van Zyl says that if this is handled badly, “it has the potential to cripple the entire Southern African reg...