JOHANNESBURG, December 21 – Lobby group Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) said on Thursday it was concerned over the intention by the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party to initiate amendments to the constitution in order to achieve land expropriation without compensation.
BUSA said the decision would result in policy uncertainty with negative socio-economic impact.
The intention to initiate amendments to the Constitution when the existing provisions in Section 25, which provides for the expropriation of land that is compensated in a just and equitable manner had not been implemented, was unwarranted, BUSA added.
Land has long been an emotive issue in South Africa, and the ANC is under pressure to speed up its redistribution to blacks who form the majority of the population.
“The issue of land reform is complex. The pace and depth of transformation has been patently insufficient – this needs to be comprehensively addressed. At the same time we need to build confidence so as to stimulate investment and production in the agricultural sector as a critical part of a diverse, inclusive and globally competitive economy,” BUSA CEO Tanya Cohen said.
BUSA said it would seek an urgent meeting with the ANC leadership to obtain clarity on the issue.
“BUSA views land restitution as an important instrument for fostering economic growth and black economic transformation. The acceleration of land redistribution needs to balance the urgency of social redress with sustainable land usage and food security,” it said.
The main opposition Democratic Alliance said it would stand firmly behind the property clauses in section 25 of the Constitution and the rights of the poor to be included in the economy.
It said the ruling party, increasingly seen as failing to lead South Africa out of poverty and inequality and riven with corruption and maladministration, was trying to re-position itself as a party of radical economic transformation.
African News Agency (ANA),