Expropriation without compensation will diminish economic opportunities in this country, warns Maimane

Mmusi Maimane
Mmusi Maimane
Image: Trevor Samson

Land reform must be about real empowerment and not just slogans‚ Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane says.

“Land reform should be about both justice and economic opportunity. Expropriation without compensation will satisfy neither of these two conditions. It will not return land to the people who were dispossessed‚ and it will diminish economic opportunities in this country‚’ he warned at a Workers’ Day celebration with farm workers in Wellington in the Western Cape on Tuesday.

Maimane said the difference between what the DA was doing and what national government was doing came down to intentions.

“The DA intends for land reform to be empowering to the individual beneficiaries‚ with long-term sustainable benefits.

“National government intends for land reform programmes to tick boxes and make up numbers. It’s about short cuts and quick fixes. As soon as the deal is done‚ the beneficiary is abandoned.”

Maimane said the ANC had voted along with the EFF in Parliament to scrap Section 25 of the Constitution and open the door for expropriation without compensation because they knew they had made a mess of land reform for the past 24 years‚ and they needed a quick way to deflect the attention and blame anything other than themselves.

“But the ANC also know it’s a terrible idea‚ because today you can’t get a straight answer from them on the matter. They can’t tell you whether they plan to change the Constitution. They can’t tell you whether they support expropriation without compensation. They can’t tell you whether they want the state to own the land or whether they want individuals to have full title‚” the DA leader added.

The farm workers Maimane was addressing were those who had benefited from one of the farm equity share schemes that the DA had championed in government - the Bosman-Adama equity scheme.

He said that in 2008‚ 260 workers were each given over R100‚000 worth of shares in the scheme. The very next year they had received their first dividends‚ and had been doing so every year since. Today the business had grown to include 450 permanent workers.

“We will continue to support and roll out projects like these where we govern. We will continue to fight for justice and economic development through land reform without amending the Constitution. We will continue to harness the power of collaboration to unlock opportunities for our people.”

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