TLU SA is deeply concerned after the release of the long-awaited report on land reform this weekend.
“The government and Mr Ramaphosa are allowing themselves to be led around by their noses by the masses without considering the long-term impact it will have on South Africa,” says Mr Louis Meintjes, the President of TLU SA. “The masses are adamant about an immediate solution about something for which there are no quick solutions.
“South Africa does not have the ability or capacity to implement the suggestions made by the land panel. But the expectation was created, and now the recommendations have to be enforced to satisfy the masses. Even though it will harm all South Africans and not just farmers and their workers,” says Mr Meintjes.
The agricultural community already objected to how the report was compiled after farmers were left out of the process. The input of farmer Nick Serfontein and chair of AgriSA, Dan Kriek – the only representatives of agriculture on the panel – was ignored in such a way they had to compile a minority report. TLU SA, representing commercial farmers, was not asked for any comments.
“Who speaks on behalf of the farmers who had no representation on the panel?” Mr Meintjes wants to know. “TLU SA has always seen economic principles as a priority in any discussion concerning transformation as the basis of successful farming.
“This process was not economically driven and will lead to a state-controlled environment where the initiative of entrepreneurs and investors is suffocated,” says Mr Meintjes. “The members of the panel worked towards a specific outcome to support personal relationships and opinions.”
The suggested process around the selection and choice of land recipients are also suspect and very clearly part of the ANC government’s outcome of total state control and specifically the control of the production and distribution of food.
“It is nothing less than the legal hijacking of land by the ANC-elite,” says Mr Meintjes. “Why else the suggestion to regulate where to plant products along with proposed taxation of farms where the farmers are already under pressure to keep their heads above water?”
The report focusses mainly on farms for expropriation, while 67% of the South African population is urbanised and their needs for housing and services are more urgent.
Commercial producers have to provide for the needs of city residents. The majority – almost 95% – of farms already signed over to the state failed and are non-productive. The chances of farms expropriated without compensation succeeding, are slim. How will South Africa meet the food needs of more than 50 million people?
“The complicated problem of poverty – seated in an uneducated working class as a result of poor schooling and lacking skills development – will not be solved by handing out the land,” says Mr Meintjes. “Rather work on creating a real climate for economic prosperity. The process will only succeed if we follow economic principles instead of race-based politics.”
“When the land has been redistributed, what happens then, Mr Ramaphosa?”
Real solutions should be focussed on producing maximum yield with the lowest input. That is to provide housing for city residents living in unacceptable conditions and to provide for their food needs – the task of the commercial farmer.
“The irresponsibility around this report will have an impact on all property owners,” says Mr Meintjes. “We are calling on any law practitioners concerned about the future of South Africa to contact TLU SA. We have already made provision in the form of a trust fund to support farmers whose land is expropriated without their consent and below market-related prices.
“A responsible government will not choose a Sunday to release a report with the potential to ruin South Africa. Responsible people will be in church on Sunday praying for the country,” says Meintjes.
Issued by: TLU SA
Date: 29 July 2019
Enquiries: Mr Louis Meintjes, President TLU SA,
Cell.: 082 461 7262
Mr Bennie van Zyl, General Manager TLU SA,
Cell.: 082 466 4470