SA Affordable Housing January - February 2019 // Issue: 74 - Page 27

EXHIBITIONS AND EVENTS FMF’s strong case against expropriation The issuing of land, how it is distributed and owned is a complex one that heavily impacts on the affordable housing sector; a recent conference explored all the concerns surrounding this hot topic. By Warren Robertson Presidential candidate in Venezuela María Corina Machado is interviewed at the FMF conference. T he Freemarket Foundation (FMF) conference on Expro- priation Without Compensation (EWC) held on 20 and 21 November sought to address many of the econom- ic concerns surrounding it and looked for solutions. Over the two days numerous speakers from throughout Africa, South America and India looked at case studies in which models similar to EWC had been implemented. What came out of it is that time and again these backed up the FMF’s contention that removing the right to compensation, as currently contained in section 25 of the Constitution, when expropriating property will be a ‘lethal blow’ to the legitimacy and stability of constitutional order if done under present conditions. FMF director, Temba Nolutshungu said, “What we are contemplating right now in terms of expropriation without compensation is disastrous. It is going to result in socio- economic hardship.” The economic situations of Zimbabwe and Venezuela took centre stage at the gathering with Zimbabwean activist, Rejoice Ngwenya, asking a probing question to South Africans calling for land restitution, “Are we pre- pared to open another chapter of land confrontation?” Ngwenya suggested that similar poverty in Zimbabwe will also befall South Africa if it continues down the road of expropriation without compensation. Former member of the National Assembly and presiden- tial candidate in Venezuela, María Corina Machado, was interviewed on video detailing her country’s slide into economic ruin, which in many ways echoes the story of South Africa under Jacob Zuma and the removal of prop- erty rights. President Cyril Ramaphosa meanwhile claims that this policy will not hurt the economy and that it will bring more people into the fold by helping beneficiaries to become farmers. “Five pages to justify changing a provision for which black South Africans suffered is an insult to our constitu- tional democracy. The property provision was enacted specifically to protect those who had, up to 1994, never had property protection – black South Africans. To now take away the right to compensation is a direct attack on the protection black South Africans – who today own more fixed property than whites – have enjoyed for the past two decades,” said FMF spokesperson, Jayne Boccaleone. JANUARY - FEBRUARY 2019 25