Ricochet News

Minister Senzeni Zokwana commends AgriSA for condemning Afriforum statement

Aug 14, 2018
Minister Senzeni Zokwana commends AgriSA for condemning Afriforum statement

Minister Senzeni Zokwana has commended AgriSA for publicly condemning the Afriforum statement about the so-called list of farms that government plans to expropriate.

“Afriforum is so intent in stigmatizing the current parliamentary process around land expropriation without compensation such that peddling of lies,  such as these claims of an existing list of farms to be expropriated by government, is made without shame," Zokwana said.

"This latest confusion by Afriforum following their overseas drive to mobilize negative sentiments against South Africa is an act of sabotage. It is an act against the national interest of the country."

He called upon all farmer organization, like AgriSA has demonstrated, to work with the government in this crucial time of such parliamentary process.

"We must isolate Afriforum as any organization of added value on this question. As government, We want to emphasize that the process of amendment of section 25 and the reform process in that nuanced context will not undermine food security and agricultural sector as a critical economic contributor to our country," the Minister added.

"We reassure that government will undertake a careful process mindful of all the factors."

Agri SA questioned the status and content of the leaked list of farms said to be earmarked for expropriation without compensation (EWC).

The list was published on the weekend and led to panic amongst landowners. This follows on an initial scare tactic by the ANC to target 139 farms for EWC.

“Agri SA is in the process of establishing the legitimacy of the list of farms,” said Dan Kriek, President of Agri SA.

“It is irresponsible of AfriForum to publish such unconfirmed information, knowing it to be inflammatory.”

“Fellow farmers have been exposed by the release of the list.”

Cursory background research showed that the list contained several inaccuracies which could easily have been verified before release. Upon investigation by Agri SA’s affiliates, it came to light that the list contained farms that are joint ventures that are co-owned by black people.

The list also contained incomplete information on title deed descriptions and with farm names appearing without stating the subdivisions of those farms.

Agri SA said it wishes to emphasise that expropriation can only happen for a legitimate purpose mandated by statute and that a lengthy process that complies with the requirements of just administrative action needs to be followed. 

“This means that expropriation cannot happen overnight and can only take place for reasons specified in a law of general application,” said Annelize Crosby, Agri SA Head of the Centre of Excellence: Land.

"There are various prescribed steps that must be followed in expropriation. This includes a notice of intention to expropriate, valuation of the property and negotiations with the owners. 

"As the Constitution has not been changed, the requirement for expropriation remains just and equitable compensation. Agri SA will protect the interest of farmers in the courts."