Letter: Ramaphosa evasive on property rights - Cape Times

28 January 2019 - Some might applaud President Cyril Ramaphosa's performance in Davos as providing an honest perspective on the hindrances to growth and investment in South Africa. This would be overly generous. The president's message on property rights was an exercise in evasion and deflection. His comment that the "land issue has ceased to be an ugly ogre" has received much attention.

Some might applaud President Cyril Ramaphosa's performance in Davos as providing an honest perspective on the hindrances to growth and investment in South Africa. This would be overly generous.

The president's message on property rights was an exercise in evasion and deflection. His comment that the "land issue has ceased to be an ugly ogre" has received much attention.

Yet in that briefing he avoided any mention of the key concern this is not "land reform", but expropriation without compensation EWC . We've seen concerning moves towards implementing EWC. Regulations gazetted under the Property Valuation Act grant the government substantial discounts when acquiring property for land reform.

The Expropriation Bill does not identify instances where land may be expropriated. It provides examples of land which may be taken without compensation while clearly noting such seizure is not limited to these.

The ANC's election manifesto commits to a statist economic path that current fiscal resources cannot underwrite. Hence, "prescribed assets" requiring portions of people's saving and pensions be directed to government approved investments.

The president may have put forward a benign picture, but unless counter productive policy is rejected, SA's prospects will remain bleak.

TERENCE CORRIGAN

Project manager, Institute of Race Relations

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