Johannesburg - The Transvaal Agricultural Union of South Africa (TLU SA) has upped the ante in its fight against the expropriation of land without compensation.
On Thursday TLU SA announced its #SOS-campaign, which is aimed at urging foreign countries to take a stand against expropriation of land without compensation.
This forms part of its ‘fightback’ campaign, which includes an international campaign against changing the Constitution to allow for land expropriation without compensation.
TLU SA president Louis Meintjes said the ANC had, in the run-up to the elections, made many promises regarding land expropriation to win votes. He said supporters of changing the Constitution for expropriation of land without compensation were now waiting impatiently to see how the government would implement the exercise.
“With this campaign we will send a distress signal to foreign countries, asking them to take a stand and warn the South African government not to proceed with this short-sighted plan,” Meintjes said.
“We’ve been warning against land expropriation since its inception. Our suggestions regarding this - which would be to the benefit of all parties - are, however, simply seen as right, and therefore wiped from the table without properly looking into it.
“Private property rights - be it land, shares or even cash - are the most important principles of a country’s economic growth,” Meintjes said.
He charged that it was the state’s obligation to protect residents and their property. “When private property rights are undermined by the state itself, government fails in their duty, to the detriment of the country’s economy.”
But ANC national executive committee member Ronald Lamola said the land reform programme was done through the rule of law.
“We are following constitutional, defined procedures to address the imbalances of the past on land ownership in South Africa,” Lamola said.
He said the skewed ownership only in favour of white people was not sustainable for any constitutional democracy. “Land redistribution is important for economic inclusivity in our country. A new class of black commercial farmers must be brought into commercial agriculture,” Lamola said.
“The land reform programmes also need to intervene with urban settlements and economic and social activity, and not only for agriculture.”
He said South Africa was one of the few countries where property rights were enshrined in the bill of rights.
Lamola said their doors remained open to work with all stakeholders in the process of land reform.