Vrystaat Landbou maak sterk standpunt ná uitreiking van paneelverslag oor eiendomsreg

“Vrystaat Landbou (VL) sal, saam met ander belangegroepe, voortgaan om enige grondwetlike wysigings teen te staan wat die deur oopmaak vir prosedures buite die praktyke wat reeds binne die Grondwet van Suid-Afrika bestaan.” Dit is die boodskap van Francois Wilken, President van VL, aan sy organisasie se lede en die landbousektor nadat die finale verslag van die presidensiële adviespaneel oor grondhervorming en landbou vrygestel is.

Volgens Wilken bly VL gekant teen onteiening sonder vergoeding (OSV) en sal kwessies daaroor ook op VL se jaarkongres, wat op 7 en 8 Augustus 2019 in Bloemfontein plaasvind, bespreek word. “Ons deel die mening dat die wysiging van Artikel 25 van die Grondwet onnodig is en dat dit gepaardgaande risiko’s oor die beskerming van eiendomsreg verder sal verhoog,” sê Wilken. Die langverwagte paneelverslag en ’n alternatiewe verslag, wat deur president Cyril Ramaphosa erken is, waarin die rol van die privaatsektor uitgelig word, is op 28 Julie 2019 vrygestel.

“Ons meen ook dat as die regering met die beplande proses voortgaan, dit katastrofiese gevolge sal hê,” sê Wilken. “As daar geen landbouers is wat kos produseer nie, wie gaan dan kos hê om te stem vir die politici wat hierdie ondeurdagte plan bestuur? Geen landbouers is gelyk aan geen kos!”

Kwessies oor die grondwetlike noodsaaklikheid vir grondhervorming, transformasie in die landbousektor en hoe die OSV-narratief ’n buitengewone ingewikkelde saak gemonopoliseer het, is alles op die agenda van VL se komende kongres.

Prof Danie Brand, Direkteur van die Sentrum vir Menseregte by die Universiteit van die Vrystaat, is ’n grondwetlike kundige en sal by die kongres gesels oor die prosesse van onteiening en hoe die proses vir OSV sal verloop indien konstitusionele veranderinge aangebring moet word. Dr Frans Cronje, Hoof Uitvoerende Beampte van die Instituut vir Rasseverhoudinge, sal op sy beurt die feite gee oor wat kan gebeur indien OSV in verskeie vorms toegelaat word.

Verder beskou VL ook die mosie in die parlement, wat op 25 Julie 2019 bekendgemaak is, as ’n direkte aanval op eiendomsreg. Wilken meen dit wys dat die regerende party, duidelik net om politieke redes, ondanks al die katastrofiese gevolge steeds wil voortgaan met die skadelike wysiging van die grondwet.

Volgens hom bly VL verbind tot die volhoubaarheid van landbou in Suid-Afrika. “Ons wil dit onomwonde stel dat Vrystaat Landbou alles in sy vermoë sal doen om die regte van sy lede en landbouers te beskerm deur enige wysiging van die grondwet teen te staan.”

Free State Agriculture (FSA) sends out clear message after release of panel report on property rights

“Free State Agriculture (FSA) will continue, together with other interest groups, to oppose any constitutional amendments which could open the door for procedures outside of the remedies already available within the Constitution of South Africa.” This is the message from Francois Wilken, President of FSA, to members of his organisation and the agricultural sector after the final report of the Presidential Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture was released.

According to Wilken FSA remains opposed to expropriation without compensation (EWC) and issues surrounding it will also be discussed at the annual FSA congress, which is taking place on 7 and 8 August 2019 in Bloemfontein. “We share the view that the amendment of Section 25 of the Constitution is unnecessary and will further increase the associated risks in as far as the protection of property rights are concerned,” says Wilken. The much anticipated panel’s report and an alternative report highlighting the role of the private sector, which was acknowledged by President Cyril Ramaphosa, was released on 28 July 2019.

“Furthermore, we are of the opinion that should government proceed with this intended process, the results will be catastrophic to say the least,” Wilken says. “If there are no farmers to produce the food, who will have food to vote for the politicians that are driving this ill-advised plan? No farmers equals no food!”

The matters of the constitutional imperative for land reform, agricultural sector transformation and how the EWC narrative has monopolised an extremely complex issue are all on the agenda at the upcoming FSA congress.

Prof Danie Brand, Director at the Centre for Human Rights at the University of the Free State, is a constitutional expert and will at the congress talk about the processes of expropriation and how the process for EWC will look if constitutional changes are to be made. Dr Frans Cronje, Chief Executive Officer of the Institute of Race Relations, will in turn give the facts of what can happen if EWC is allowed in various forms.

FSA also considers the motion in parliament, which was announced on 25 July 2019, as a direct attack on property rights. Wilken believes this shows, despite all the catastrophic consequences, that the governing party still clearly wants to continue with the harmful amendment to the constitution, despite all the disastrous consequences.

According to him, FSA remains committed to the sustainability of agriculture in South Africa. “We want to make it clear that Free State Agriculture will do everything in its power to protect the rights of its members and farmers by opposing any amendment to the constitution.”

 

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