File picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency (ANA)

DURBAN - The land expropriation debate and the proposed Constitutional amendments in this regard have put the brakes on long-term investment commitments by foreign investors as they wait to see if this will result in government policy changes, Business Unity of South Africa (BUSA) said on Sunday. 

BUSA is a confederation of business organisations, including chambers of commerce and industry, professional associations, corporate associations and unisectoral organisations, representing South African business on macro-economic and high-level issues.

Busiswe Mabuza, a representative of BUSA, said that the land debate has created anxiety and uncertainty among the foreign investment community, adding that the country needed to guard against losing investor confidence in light of challenging domestic and international developments.

This comes as the South African government is holding public hearings to ascertain whether a review of Section 25 of the Constitution and other clauses are necessary to make it possible for the state to expropriate land in the public interest without compensation, and to then propose the necessary constitutional amendments. 

"The current crossroads, spearheaded by the constitutional review committee exploring the changing of the section 25 of the Constitution to pave the way for expropriation [of land] without compensation is a huge poser for business," Mabuza said.

"The process has put brakes on any long-term investment decisions as business awaits confusion and final outcomes. In the absence of certainty, there is a general paralysis which we need to make sure is addressed by the speedy clarity of the issues." 

Mabuza was speaking during the session on South African investment opportunities at the BRICS Business Council meeting being held in Durban.  

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African News Agency (ANA)