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Land-seizure talks hit SA’s farming industry

Confidence indexes and agricultural land prices are slumping in part due to the potential constitutional amendments proposed by the ANC.

It’s not just the rand that’s been hurt by the South African ruling party’s plan to change the nation’s Constitution to make land expropriation without compensation easier.

Confidence indexes and agricultural land prices are slumping in part due to the potential constitutional amendment that the African National Congress says is needed to correct racially skewed land-ownership patterns. With elections looming next year, President Cyril Ramaphosa has embraced land expropriation without compensation, but insists there won’t be a land grab and any policy changes won’t be allowed to damage farming production or the economy.

Some critics say the Constitution already enables the state to tackle land reform, restitution and redistribution, and that changes are unnecessary. The populist Economic Freedom Fighters party, which has won support from young voters in impoverished townships, supports the change and wants all land nationalised. A parliamentary committee is considering possible amendments.

White farmers own almost three-quarters of South Africa’s agricultural land, according to an audit by Agri SA published last year.

These charts show how the debate has affected the farming industry since the ANC decided in December to seek constitutional change:

The Agbiz/IDC agribusiness confidence index declined to the lowest in more than two years, the Agricultural Business Chamber said Monday. That’s the weakest since 2016, when the nation was in the grips of a drought that ensued after the lowest annual rainfall in at least a century.

Farm prices in South Africa have plunged by a third since December. The average price of agricultural land sold in July was R9 318 a hectare compared with R13 700, according to Johann Bornman, an economist who is the chairman of Agri Development Solutions, who obtained the data from the country’s Deeds Office, which maintains the property registry.

The country’s gross domestic product contracted in the second quarter from the previous three months, landing the economy in its first recession since 2009. Agriculture output shrank 29%, the most among all industries. The sector employs 843 000 people, almost double the number of jobs in mining.

© 2018 Bloomberg L.P

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What happened to WMC (White Monopoly Capital) from 2017?

Come 2018, now its EWC!

Can’t wait for 2019… 🙁

A new year, a new slogan. Bell Pottinger, if they still exist, must feel proud.

All the hassles could have been avoided if the ANC simply removed the “without compensation” from the equation.
Very few will deny the opportunity to any “previously disadvantaged” (love these ANC ” ” buzz words) to own and work the land – but don’t resort to the tactics that you lay at the door of the previous government.
Transform and compensate the current owners equitably!!!!!!

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