Civil rights group AfriForum has vowed to oppose the ANC’s latest policy proposal that reportedly seeks to encourage white farmers to donate land to black farmers.
Reports indicate that the proposal is contained in a yet-to-be-released discussion document for the ANC’s policy conference scheduled for July this year.
ANC’s land donations proposal
The document reportedly proposes to establish an Agricultural Development Agency that will formulate policies and processes to facilitate land donations to black farmers. The agency will also create incentives, such as Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) recognition to white farmers who donate land or provide support to black farmers.
It will further establish and manage a Land Reform Fund, housed within the Land Bank, while monitoring progress on land transactions and advising on partners for black farmers.
However, in a statement on Thursday (28 April), AfriForum slammed the new proposal as yet another ANC attempt at meddling with property rights in South Africa. It recalled that the party failed to pass the land expropriation without compensation bill in Parliament last year, and expressed doubt that the new agency will act in a “neutral and fair manner.”
“The fact that the plan includes the allocation of BEE points to land owners who participate, again shows that the ANC is absolutely race obsessed,” AfriForum’s Campaigns Manager Jacques Broodryk said.
“Even though the ANC has tried to create the illusion that the funds for this project will be collected via donations from the private sector, the policy clearly states that fiscal grants will also be used to fund this project. So once again, it’s the taxpayer who will be footing the bill,” he added.
AfriForum also slammed the ANC’s claim that its willing buyer, willing seller policy failed as “untrue.” This is because the government “has spent more than R60 billion on land reform but only an estimated 6.3 percent of the land purchased has been transferred to private owners. Thus it is the ANC who are unwilling distributors of the land they have hoarded.”
It added that the Land Bank has incurred losses “worth billions of rand,” making its inclusion in the proposed policy “concerning.”
“The ANC is clearly on the backfoot since their parliamentary failure to legalise government theft of property and are growing increasingly desperate to try and enforce their policies,” the lobby group said.
“AfriForum will continue to fight for property rights and will continue to oppose the states continuous meddling in property ownership.”