Letter: Investors fear losing land - Business Day

25 June 2018 - Tellingly, our CEO, Frans Cronje, currently on a speaking tour of the US, reports that there "is clearly an awareness among leading US figures, including in the investment community, that expropriation without compensation presents the risk of American firms facing uncompensated losses in SA".

The Institute of Race Relations has long argued that expropriation without compensation – as currently contemplated by the Gauteng provincial government – will do nothing other than place a very large obstacle before SA’s efforts to attract the investment the economy so desperately needs.

According to Gauteng Premier David Makhura, "we can expropriate land without compensation with immediate effect to test the Constitution" (Gauteng to target private land immediately ‘to test Constitution’, June 20). His colleague, infrastructure MEC Jacob Mamabolo, added that this would be aimed "in the main [at] privately owned land and not just government-owned land".

Although this has been qualified by the rider that it is "idle" land that is in the crosshairs, this is unlikely to reassure nervous investors. The stated and intentional targeting of private property sends a negative message about the security of investments. This is a subject of considerable concern in SA. It has also attracted a great deal of attention abroad. Such concern has been expressed to us regularly from both quarters.

Tellingly, our CEO, Frans Cronje, currently on a speaking tour of the US, reports that there "is clearly an awareness among leading US figures, including in the investment community, that expropriation without compensation presents the risk of American firms facing uncompensated losses in SA. I would say it is the primary policy concern facing foreign investors here, and has done considerable damage to confidence in SA’s new administration."

Terence Corrigan
Institute of Race Relations

 

https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/opinion/letters/2018-06-25-letter-investors-fear-losing-land/

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