Letter: Land reform is only the start - Businesslive

19 November 2018 - Property rights are the foundation of every free and open society. They underpin investment decisions and anchor human liberty. They are also indivisible, and the land reform issue is simply being used as the thin end of a much larger property rights wedge.

Your report, Investors in the dark on land policy until after 2019 poll (November 16), refers.

The political machinations and legal processes set in motion by the decision of the ANC to press ahead with its expropriation without compensation policy has major implications for many different policy spheres.

Hence, there will be little certainty about the content of policy or the strength of property rights for many years after the 2019 poll.

Property rights are the foundation of every free and open society. They underpin investment decisions and anchor human liberty. They are also indivisible, and the land reform issue is simply being used as the thin end of a much larger property rights wedge.

Allow the state to seize land without compensation and it is a simple matter to expand the precedent to wherever else there is wealth to be extracted. What will play out over the next several years is therefore a battle for SA'ssurvival as a constitutional democracy and thereby its prospects as a free and prosperous society.

Only if we win that battle will we be able to rebuild the society and its economy and give people a realistic prospect of upward mobility. But if the battle is lost an exceptionally difficult economic and political era lies ahead. 

Frans Cronje
CEO, Institute of Race Relations

https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/opinion/letters/2018-11-19-letter-land-reform-is-only-the-start/

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