15 November 2018

BUSA Comment on Constitutional Review Committee Adopting Report on Land Expropriation without Compensation

Thursday 15 November 2018

 

Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) calls for a clear plan and timelines about the framework the government will pursue in order to realise land expropriation without compensation, with clarification as to the role the recently appointed land advisory panel will play therein.

 

This is in the context of the Joint Constitutional Review Committee today (Thursday 15 November 2018) voting to adopt its report paving the way for a change to Section 25 of the Constitution to formalise land expropriation without compensation as official policy.

 

BUSA notes that there have been questions raised about whether due process was followed by the Joint Committee in arriving at its decision today. BUSA calls for clarity in this regard and that these questions be addressed promptly to avoid creating unnecessary uncertainty.

 

BUSA endorses the imperative to undo South Africa’s skewed and unjust land ownership and distribution patterns, which continue to run along racial lines. Business is of the view that the country’s land question ought to be addressed conclusively in a fair, just, equitable and transparent manner. BUSA stands ready to play a constructive role in this regard.

 

However, BUSA notes that the issue is not confined to Section 25 of the Constitution – it is about how the entire edifice of the land reform programme has been a resounding disappointment to those intended to benefit from it. It would be prudent to take a holistic approach that factors the failures of the country’s past land reform programme and one that moves SA Inc forward on the land question.

 

BUSA agrees that property rights and land ownership are fundamental requirements that will help to ensure South Africa addresses its societal structural imbalances.

 

“It would be unfortunate for this important national issue to be reduced to ideological wrangling, as it affects the entire body politic. South Africa must confront its past, which continues to stalk it through the land question. We call for cool heads and pragmatism, and an approach that does not undermine SA Inc’s economic fundamentals.

 

“We have just emerged from a trying period of political uncertainty that manifested in economic stagnation. As we confront the land question, BUSA calls for a unifying approach that will inspire confidence and solve the land question constructively,” said BUSA President Sipho M Pityana.