Letter: Expropriation without compensation will destroy SA - Businesslive

7 March 2019 - Undermining property rights strikes at the heart of any investment decision. It will remain an investment killer, irrespective of how it is euphemised, however many (nonbinding) assurances are made, and whatever brave faces prominent business people and commentators may put on.

Obvious as the facts are, your editorial (Low growth a let-down after Ramaphoria, March 4) did a service in pointing out SA's bottom-line failures and the meagre prospects for the immediate future. Ramaphoria was indeed short-lived.

Sadly, it was dispatched by the choices of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s own party and government. Foremost here was the ANC’s decision to embark on a policy of expropriation without compensation (EWC), and the fulsome support extended to this during 2018.

As Azar Jammine said in a recent report in your sister publication, the Financial Mail, this “in one fell swoop destroyed whatever hope there was of a surge in capital investment that might resurrect sustainable economic growth”.

This was as predictable as it was lamentable. Undermining property rights strikes at the heart of any investment decision. It will remain an investment killer, irrespective of how it is euphemised, however many (nonbinding) assurances are made, and whatever brave faces prominent business people and commentators may put on.

It’s time to speak candidly about this. With damage already inflicted by the “debate” on EWC, it is delusional to believe that there is some manner in which this policy could be implemented without compromising SA's prospects even further. To get SA on a high-growth path, EWC must be abandoned.

Terence Corrigan
Project manager, Institute of Race Relations

https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/opinion/letters/2019-03-07-letter-expropriation-without-compensation-will-destroy-sa/

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