Real Estate Investor Magazine South Africa November 2014 - Page 16

cover story BY MONIQUE TERRAZAS Private Property Rights in South Africa Beware the systematic undermining of our rights A partheid and its laws, including the Land Act of 1913, was an abomination. Most South Africans agree the wrongs of the past must be addressed through restitution. However, it is the approach to this restitution that divides us. Government’s land restitution approach has been an abysmal failure. Despite having spent R50 billion, it was announced last year only 8% of claimed land had been returned to claimants, and much of the agricultural land returned is now unproductive. However, the concern is government’s current approach of diluting the property rights of all South Africans to try to speed up land restitution. Dangerous developments Earlier this year, Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti, published policy proposals requiring commercial farmers to hand 50% of their farms to farm workers, based on years of service. Government will pay for the labourers’ 50%, but the money will not go to the owner, but into an investment and development fund, managed by government, for re-investment in the farm. Stakeholders have until April 2015 to react, but the reaction was swift. AgriSA deputy president Theo de Jager said organised 16 November 2014 SA Real Estate Investor www.reimag.co.za