ANC call on land redistribution described as 'reckless'

The African National Congress (ANC) call to abandon the willing buyer-willing seller land-redistribution policy is reckless, said agricultural union TAU SA on Monday.

“It is reckless for a governing party to announce one-sidedly that the principle of willing buyer, willing seller will be abandoned,” said TAU SA president Ben Marais in a statement.

Statements like these could do great harm to the country, given the current global economic climate, in which markets and investors were very sensitive to political statements.

On Sunday, the ANC called for the scrapping of laws allowing farmers to set a price for land to be redistributed, reported Agence France-Presse. ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said “the willing buyer-willing seller clause has to be abandoned”. This after the party and its alliance partners held a summit to review economic policy.

“Land redistribution cannot depend on the willingness of those who own to sell,” he said.

He said there should be an evaluation of land and expropriation thereof.

On Monday, Marais said the government’s encouragement of food production for subsistence needs was not a solution to food crises.

“Although nothing is wrong with people growing their own food, it creates the perception that this sort of subsistence farming will be the solution to the food crisis.

“The government needs to realise that sustainable food production is a commercial enterprise, and requires economy of scale. Food production in gardens is not sustainable, and is no solution to the food crisis as it is done as a hobby and not for a living.”

Marais said if the ANC needed land it should start by looking at government-owned or under- or unutilised land. He added that land that had already been transferred and which was still lying fallow should also be considered.—Sapa

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