The Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Freedom Front Plus (FF Plus) have rejected the Presidential Advisory Panel on Land Reforms. The DA says the recommendations of the report would be disastrous for the economy and investor confidence if implemented.
The party has described the suggestions as high-risk, which at best promise low-reward for those in need of meaningful land reform. The DA’s deputy spokesperson on Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Thandeka Mbabama says they will carefully study the full report with a view to tabling a comprehensive alternative.
“We reject the outcomes of the report for the following reasons: the panelists themselves were not unanimous themselves with the decision. The report rejects providing title deeds and security of tenure to the millions of South Africans living on communal land. The DA has always been against the amendment of the constitution as we believe the constitution as it stands provides for successful land reform,” says Mbabama.
The Freedom Front Plus that has also been at the forefront in the campaign against land expropriation also rejected the report. FF plus leader Pieter Groenewald says the recommendations from the panel is a farce.
“The recommendations from the Presidential panel is a farce. It was a waste of tax-payers money. The recommendations to amend the constitution to provide for land expropriation without compensation were expected and the ANC already instituted a new motion in parliament to provide for a process to amend the constitution. The Freedom Front Plus believes that it will destroy the economy of South Africa and will put our country in the path of Zimbabwe,” says Greonewald.
The IFP says it will discuss the report tomorrow at its NEC meeting. The ANC, EFF are yet to comment.
Watch Minister media briefing:
The Presidential Expert Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture says deadlines for the implementation of its recommendations should be strictly adhered to. The panel presented its final report on land reform at a media briefing in Pretoria earlier on Sunday.
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” says Mahlati.
The public has been invited to comment on the report that contains a number of recommendations, including the amendment of the constitution to allow for land expropriation without compensation in some circumstances.
It also recommends the reconfiguration of the land claims court to a land court which will enable it to deal with land issues on a wider scale. The Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister, Thoko Didiza says that Cabinet has noted the report of the panel.
“Cabinet has noted the report of the panel and referred it to the department for analysis and identification of action plans that they will present to the IMC and then to cabinet for adoption and execution. Cabinet has decided to publish the report of the panel for public consumption,” says Didiza.