LETTER: Land summit a farce - Business Day

27 March 2018 - The summit on property rights to be convened jointly at the Gordon Institute of Business Science this week by groups including Parliament and the Nelson Mandela University is a farce.

 

By Frans Cronje 

The summit on property rights to be convened jointly at the Gordon Institute of Business Science this week by groups including Parliament and the Nelson Mandela University is a farce.

The purported aim is to discuss questions of expropriation without compensation. Some have billed it as a "land Codesa". But we have seen an itinerary of the summit and of about 25 speaker and respondent slots only three are occupied by farmers or their representatives. There are also no representatives of farm workers or the rural poor.

An informal poll we conducted over the weekend could not find a single prominent advocate for property rights who had been asked to speak. There is no space on the agenda to raise the question of whether expropriation without compensation is a good idea.

The agenda rather speaks of issues such as elevating food security "given the resolution of expropriation without compensation".

The majority of speaking or respondent slots are set aside for government officials and ANC-or EFF-aligned politicians or groups partly or largely funded by the state. Far from a "Codesa", the summit seems engineered to further undermine the case for property rights.

*Frans Cronje is the CEO of the Institute of Race Relations, a think tank that promotes political and economic freedom.

Read the letter on BDL here.

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