President Cyril Ramaphosa misled the country when he said that the ANC will not support the EFF’s proposal to make the state custodian of all land as this would “kill entrepreneurial spirit”.
Two weeks after giving this assurance, his ANC comrades in the Section 25 Ad-hoc Committee have formally included state custodianship as part of their new proposal to the amendment.
The implications of this about-turn is that South Africa cannot, at face value, accept anything that Ramaphosa says because even if he means it the ANC simply ignores him and does the exact opposite.
In its blind rush to ensure the passing of the amendment at all costs, the ANC has thrown out all reason and is now openly pandering to the EFF. The EFF has been demanding ‘state custodianship’ in return for their support to achieve the two-thirds majority necessary to amend the constitution to explicitly allow for expropriation of property without compensation.
State custodianship is nothing but just another byword for nationalisation of land under the administrative control of the ANC, a party that has proved itself time and again that it destroys everything that it purports to administer.
Almost every current example of state custodianship of land shows that it ruins agricultural productivity and keeps people trapped in poverty. Even with state ownership of land since its independence in 1975, the Mozambican economy has broadly been ineffective and inefficient at reducing poverty and providing a broader social and economic basis for development.
The argument that ‘state custodianship’ will benefit emerging farmers, in whose interest the ANC claims to be doing this, is another ANC lie. Not only will farmers be permanent tenants of the state but will struggle to derive profits from their operations due to an inability to access finance.
Every bit of evidence demonstrates that state custodianship does not work yet the ANC is barrelling on, following a ruinous ideology rather than evidence. The DA remains resolute in our rejection of the ongoing attempt to nationalise land by stealth and reduce South Africa to an economic wasteland.
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