The civil rights organisation AfriForum today announced that it was going to intensify its campaign against expropriation without compensation at local and international level. This follows the release today of the report by the presidential task team on land reform. AfriForum described the report as disregarding basic economic principles and expressed its concern about the racist basis of the report.
Ernst Roets, deputy CEO of AfriForum, said the report was fundamentally racist because it was a continuation of the assumption that the race of a land owner should be a decisive factor in determining the legitimacy of such ownership. “The underlying message of the report is that black ownership is good and white ownership is bad. To support this assumption, a selective approach to history and the facts is followed.” Roets added that AfriForum was in favour of redress in cases where injustices had occurred, but that such a process should entail examining the specific history of every piece of land. “The report says injustices occurred on certain parts of the surface of South Africa with regard to land ownership but race-based land reform must be conducted across the entire surface of the country.”
Roets added that the presidential task team obviously was economically naive. “The president and the task team often state that land reform should result in economic growth. In fact, however, there is no link between the proposals of the task team and prospects for economic growth. Tampering with the free market, such as the proposed scrapping of the principle of willing buyer, willing seller, will have the opposite effect.”
AfriForum also expressed concern about the proposal of targeting the land of the Ingonyama Trust, in terms of which the Zulu King is acting as trustee on behalf of the Zulu Community, and added that that it would continue taking a stand, together with other communities, against irresponsible land reform.
- AfriForum will publish a more complete reaction to the report and announce a campaign plan in the coming week.
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