AgriSA slams land report recommendations by advisory panel

SABC News Land R 1 - AgriSA slams land report recommendations by advisory panel

Federation of agricultural organisations, Agri SA, President Dan Kriek says the organisation does not agree with a recommendation by the Presidential Expert Advisory Panel on the Land Reform and Agriculture report on land expropriation without compensation.

Kriek has refused to sign off on the report and instead tabled an alternative report setting out the organisation’s own perspectives on land reform.

Kriek says AgriSA could not reach consensus with the panel’s findings and recommendations on issues such as land tax, title deeds versus state ownership of land, and land expropriation without compensation.

Kriek says despite some disagreements, AgriSA supports the bulk of the findings and recommendations. “The main points that we disagree with is expropriation without compensation and that the panel went ahead and proposed an amendment to article section 25 of the Constitution while in our opinion there is no legal reason to do so. There are political reasons, plenty, but there are no legal reasons why we need to do that.”

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The Panel says it supports the proposed policy shift to use constitutional provisions to expropriate land without compensation.

Presenting the report during the media briefing on Sunday, the Advisory Panel Chairperson, Dr Vuyo Mahlati says the panel agrees that land expropriation without compensation may be necessary but only in limited certain circumstances.

President Cyril Ramaphosa appointed the panel in September 2018 to provide a unified perspective on land reform and offer independent advice to the Inter-Ministerial Committee chaired by Deputy President David Mabuza.

Recommendations

The panel says deadlines for plans for the implementation of its recommendations should be strictly adhered to. The panel’s chairperson, Dr Vuyo Mahlati, says some recommendations can be implemented immediately, while a new white paper on land reform should be completed by 2021.

Mahlati has also called on government to settle old and legitimate land claims as soon as possible.

“The recommendations deal with immediate recommendations where we believe as soon as we leave today the department can address some of the issues without delving into serious legislative processes which take time. But we specifically gave the white paper process deadline of by 2021 we should have it; because we recognise that some of the proposals that we’re putting forward are going to require a process.”

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