Letter: Expropriation silence odd - Business Day

27 September 2018 - If we are starting to see the beginning of a reality-induced climb-down, then that is largely thanks to various civil society lobbies that have done such a good job of putting pressure on the government to abandon the expropriation policy.

In his article, Stimulus plan commits to inclusive growth and reversal of stagnation (September 25), President Cyril Ramaphosa makes no mention of expropriation without compensation.

This is odd, as changing the constitution to dilute property rights protections has been the policy centrepiece of his presidency. He has stated that the policy would deliver everything from a Garden of Eden to the solution to bridging the gap between rich and poor.

Perhaps presidency staffers are beginning to realise that squaring the circle on policy certainty and expropriation is impossible. Perhaps hard reality is beginning to bite.

In large part because of this uncertainty, the economy is in recession, joblessness is up, most confidence measures are diving and our latest polls put ANC voter support at just 52%.

If we are starting to see the beginning of a reality-induced climb-down, then that is largely thanks to various civil society lobbies that have done such a good job of putting pressure on the government to abandon the expropriation policy.

It is also likely there is a strategic retreat under pressure, and that future assaults on property rights must be expected. These will also have to be defeated before the government will move on the structural reforms necessary to position SA as a competitive investment destination.

Marius Roodt 
Head of campaigns, Institute of Race Relations

https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/opinion/letters/2018-09-27-letter-expropriation-silence-odd/

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