Letter: Expropriation is reckless - Business Day

9 October 2019 - In highlighting South Africa’s fiscal crisis, the Reserve Bank is right to express concern about the ‘difficult domestic growth situation’.

In highlighting South Africa’s fiscal crisis, the Reserve Bank is right to express concern about the ‘difficult domestic growth situation’.

While the SARB may be reluctant to render comment on the impact of policies, those worried about what its numbers portend for the future have a responsibility to do so.

There are indeed economic matters over which South Africa’s authorities and its people have no control. But it is astounding just how reckless policy has been, all the more so given the expectations of a ‘reformist’ inclination on the part of the current president.

Foremost here is the threat of expropriation without compensation (EWC), a policy that offers nothing to address the deficiencies of land reform, but a great deal to strengthen the arm of the state to interfere in the livelihoods and choices of the country’s people and businesses – and to weaken property protections more broadly.

This stands to be profoundly damaging to South Africa’s prospects. We at the Institute of Race Relations have heard repeatedly from businesspeople – foreign and domestic – that EWC is making the country ‘uninvestable’. Until it is disavowed, the ‘difficult domestic growth situation’ will persist.

Terence Corrigan

Project Manager, Institute of Race Relations

 

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