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National African Farmers Union

No expropriation of productive white farms without compensation

Motsepe Matlala, president of the National African Farmer's Union of SA proposes that white farmers be compensated at a discounted price in land reform.

White farmers who are productive on agricultural land should be compensated by the state for their assets at a discounted price and allowed to continue producing and not be removed reported

This is part of a proposal presented by president of the National African Farmers Union of SA, Motsepe Matlala, before a policy conference held in Pretoria on Thursday. The union, which has 286,000 black farmers, is discussing its policy position on land expropriation without compensation. Matlala told about 350 delegates that initially, the union was in support of expropriation without compensation but later changed its position as it felt its stance was driven by politics.

“The research that we’ve done shows that if we expropriate land without compensation, the international community will take their investment elsewhere. This is a reality that you have to face. It is not because we are cowards but we want to be practical. We asked what would be the use of taking all the land without paying for it against the investment that will leave South Africa … we don’t eat politics, we eat what we produce,” he said.

Matlala said research conducted by the union showed that productive land could be estimated to between R2-trillion and R2.5-trillion. This is land which has the right soil and climate to produce food. He then proposed that in implementing land reform, the state must quantify the investment made on the productive land and be deducted from its current value. The state must then buy the land from the white farmer at a reduced price.

“We then don’t want to remove the white farmers from the land. Currently they are the people that are feeding over 50-million people. They should, instead, enter into a 99-year lease with conditions and targets of production.”

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