Fri Oct 21 22:16:44 SAST 2016

Land reform programme is 'disaster waiting to happen'

By unknown | May 12, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

It is very doubtful if the advice of the Centre for Development and Enterprise will be taken by our government.

It is very doubtful if the advice of the Centre for Development and Enterprise will be taken by our government.

This is clear from what is happening in the Scorpions saga, a government institution with an 86 percent success rate that will in all likelihood be made ineffective regardless of what is really good for South Africa and its citizens.

The "land reform" is another disaster waiting to happen. With an up to 50 percent failure rate, one hopes that the matter will be looked at again in a different light.

At the rate we are going we will in a few years be like Zimbabwe as far as food production is concerned.

Almost everyone accepts that we need a more just redistribution of land, but we should first look at land that is in the hands of small farmers in areas such as the former Transkei in Eastern Cape.

There are large tracts of under-utilised land because of a lack of infrastructure. Shouldn't our politicians be concentrating on the upliftment of these areas before causing more problems in an already vulnerable agricultural sector?

In the past failure was certain when land was turned over to individuals because of a lack of experience and capital to run a previously productive farm. Farmers have in most cases to wait for months before they can gain financial benefit for their work.

To blame the high prices of agricultural land on white farmers is an easy way out for the Minister of Agriculture.

When farmers are bought out they are naturally looking for farmland to buy unless they want to keep the money in the bank and wait for inflation to take its toll on their capital. The government is creating an artificial buyers market.

Of course there is still the other option, take the money and leave the country to where their skill is appreciated and their colour is not a minus point.

The land issue is grossly distorted and blown up. In the land redistribution stakes, South Africa is swimming against world trends and realities.

Erwin Schwentzek, Ferndale


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