Ricochet News

Agri Eastern Cape’s position on land expropriation without compensation unchanged

Sep 4, 2018
Agri Eastern Cape’s position on land expropriation without compensation unchanged

Farmers organisation, Agri Eastern Cape, on Tuesday said that its position on proposed land expropriation without compensation remains unchanged. 

"As an organisation we fully support Agri South Africa’s unwavering opposition to any attempt to amend Section 25 of the Constitution to allow for this. As an organisation, we will use any and all legal means to prevent any form of Expropriation without fair and equitable Compensation being paid," described Agri Eastern Cape President, Doug Stern.

"This being said, the real issues facing the Agricultural Sector and South African remain, namely poverty, low economic growth, unemployment and the lack of urban housing.

"These issues need to be addressed urgently to ensure a stable and prosperous future for all.

"Agri South Africa, together with other Agricultural Organisations under the ASUF umbrella, have decided to embark upon engagements with government in order to develop plans to address these very issues." 

He said that the recent criticism of Agri South Africa’s engagements with government and international role-players are unwarranted.

"Statements made by the leadership of Agri SA have been mis-construed and have been quoted out of context. It has always been the policy of Organised Agriculture to engage with any role player who might be able to influence our agricultural environment in a positive manner," Stern explained.

"This must not be seen as 'selling out our farmers' in any way.

"Allegations that Agri SA is deliberately undermining the efforts of other organisations to bring international pressure to bear on government to abandon the notation of land expropriation without compensation and to address the issue of farm murders are unfounded."

He said that, as an organisation, Agri Eastern Cape welcomes any attempt to influence policy by any organisation that will bring about positive changes within the sector.

"However, where we believe that the real facts have been incorrectly portrayed, it is our duty to ensure that the correct message is in fact distributed, so not to unnecessarily destabilise our sector, which will play into the hands of those elements of our society whose aim is just that," Stern added.

"The leadership of Agri Eastern Cape has been involved in all the initiatives undertaken by Agri South Africa recently, and we fully support their stance.

"We realise that this is a highly emotive issue, easily hijacked by those whose sole purpose is to further divide us as farmers.

"However, while remaining steadfast on our protection of property rights and a safe environment for all, constructive engagement is now more important than ever, to find real solutions, where Government has failed." 

Stern made an appeal to all farmers to "trust your elected leadership to engage on your behalf, irrespective of which organisation represents you, to find solutions, while you as farmers continue doing what you do best and that is farm".

"The biggest threat to any democracy is food insecurity, a point we will continue to hammer home to all who we engage with."