NOTE TO EDITORS AND JOURNALISTS: The following media release concerns the public hearings on the possible amendment of Section 25 of the Constitution, which took place in the Free State over the course of the last week, and forms part of the submission by the FF Plus provincial leader in the Free State, Jan van Niekerk.
The recent events in the Free State serve as proof that the principle of willing buyer willing seller is not the reason for the failure of the land reform programme. Funds that should have been used to acquire land for land reform projects were lost due to corruption and mismanagement. Much of the land that was acquired was not given to new owners and is now barren and unproductive.
Hundreds of millions of rands were lost due to government projects that failed, like the Vrede Dairy Project and the Gariep Fish-breeding plant. These projects and the related irregularities serve as proof that the government is responsible for the failure of the land reform programme and not Section 25 of the Constitution.
The Free State is South Africa’s breadbasket where commercial farmers produce food for the country’s inhabitants and create jobs for millions of people.
Both the ANC and the EFF are not in step with the needs of South Africans and are force-feeding the people with a divisive discourse about expropriation without compensation, which does not offer a sustainable solution.
The reality in the Free State is that the province’s unemployment rate is the highest in the country year after year because the ANC government is obsessed with keeping as many citizens as possible dependent on the state. The ANC government is failing to stimulate economic growth in the Free State, particularly in the rural areas. The reason for this is their populist policy, like expropriation without compensation, and poor service delivery.
Section 25 of the Constitution is of importance to every single South African. Without the internationally-recognised right to ownership (which includes all assets), South Africans will be at risk of losing their freedom.
If the Constitution is amended, no one will be able to own land or property as it will always belong to the state.
The ANC is using the proposed amendment of Section 25 of the Constitution as a smokescreen for its failures of the past 24 years.
Recent research conducted by the Institute of Race Relations indicates that all South Africans consider speeding up the land reform process as the least important on the list of priorities that the government should be focusing on.
In the research, South Africans ranked job creation first and better education second on the list of the areas that the government should focus on. As a group in the sample, black people also ranked land reform as the lowest priority.
Clearly, the ANC and the EFF do not have the best interests of South Africans at heart and they are blaming white land owners for supposedly causing all the inequality in our country.
The lies that white people stole the land in South Africa can be refuted by title deeds and other documents.
The farmers who, after two centuries, form an integral part of Africa are not to blame, but the populist politicians offering cheap and unsustainable solutions are.
If Section 25 of the Constitution is abolished, it will be the first step in taking away South Africans’ freedom to be responsible for their own lives and the freedom to be able to improve their lives.
The FF Plus will continue to oppose the proposed amendment to the Constitution so as to ensure that the right to ownership is preserved.
Contact details: 083 743 2042