President Cyril Ramaphosa leaving the National Assembly after delivering his State of the Nation Address. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)
Johannesburg - Afriforum has warned that President Cyril Ramaphosa is gambling with the futures of everyone in the country, by persevering with the ANC policy of land expropriation without compensation, in his State of the Nation address on Thursday evening.

The group, through deputy chief executive Alana Bailey, cited Venezuela and Zimbabwe as prime examples of countries where the policy failed.

In his address, Ramaphosa said an advisory panel, led by Dr Vuyo Mahlati, would submit a report on land reform to his office by the end of next month because state-owned land parcels were identified for the process.

“As part of accelerating land reform, we have identified land parcels owned by the state for redistribution.

“Strategically located land will be released to address human settlement needs in urban and peri-urban areas,” said Ramaphosa.

However, Bailey said Ramaphosa clearly ignored the examples of Venezuela and Zimbabwe “that are now experiencing the disastrous effects of similar programmes” and was thereby gambling with the future of everyone in the country.

She said Ramaphosa suggested in his address that entrepreneurship could be promoted and inequality reversed by the redistribution of property, although there were ample examples throughout the world, that protection of private property rights was key to economic development.

“In addition, as little government regulation as possible, as well as policy certainty is required for an economy to grow.

“The State of the Nation address, however, did not provide any reassurance or clarity in this regard.

“On the contrary, with reference to the continuation of the B-BBEE and the Competition Amendment Bill, the president created the impression that regulation will in fact be stepped up even further in the near future,” said Bailey.

She said all the “beautiful promises” made by Ramaphosa in his address to the nation regarding upliftment programmes, were condemned to failure unless private property rights were protected.