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GRONDDEBAT GAAN MANK AAN KUNDIGHEID EN REALISME LAND DEBATE LACKS EXPERTISE

“Soos wat ook tydens die debatvoering tydens die begrotingsrede oor
landelike ontwikkeling en grondhervorming hierdie week die geval was, bly
die aanklag dat die huidige groep blanke boere grond gesteel het, lewendig in
verskeie kringe waaronder die EFF” sê Johannes Möller, President van Agri
SA.

Volgens Möller word die beredenering in die verband op so ‘n lae vlak van
ingeligtheid gedryf dat gegronde argumente tot die teendeel kwalik dié
spesifieke teiken gaan bereik. “Hoekom bestaan daar ‘n skuldlasverhouding
van nagenoeg 60 persent op grond en vaste verbeterings as dit gesteel is?
Beteken die feit dat plaaseenhede afgeneem het van 118 000 in 1950 tot die
huidige aantal van nagenoeg 40 000 dat boere dit ook van mekaar “gesteel”
het? Dit is algemene kennis dat ongeveer 5% van plaasgrond jaarliks
verhandel. Dit beteken in effek dat die totale oppervlak van alle
plaasgrond in Suid-Afrika oor die afgelope twintig jaar verhandel het. So
in die “era van demokrasie” was die grondmark dinamies op basis van
verhandeling en nie gekenmerk deur sogenaamde diefstal nie” aldus Möller.

Volgens Möller word die beleidsomgewing oor grondhervorming tans gekenmerk
deur botsende uitsprake van politieke leiers, ooglopend swak koördinasie van
beleidstandpunte en duidelik swak kommunikasie oor die aangeleentheid. “Dit
is onmoontlik om te midde van restitusie en die verwante grondeise-prosesse
wat vir ‘n verdere vyf jaar sal voortduur sinvol te vorder met
grondhervorming, aandeelhouerskemas, die verbandhoudende voorstelle in die
Nasionale Ontwikkelingsplan en Swart Ekonomiese Bemagtiging in die algemeen”
sê Möller.

Landbouers is nou sat daarvoor dat die blaam vir Suid-Afrika se mislukte
grondhervormingsproses telkens na die produsente as synde planloos geskuif
word, terwyl die departement beide in die vermelde begroting en weens
herhaling van praktyke wat tot dusver klaaglik misluk het, nie met werkbare
planne of implementeringstrategieë vorendag kom nie. Desnieteenstaande werk
Agri SA reeds saam met die Nasionale Beplanningskommissie ten opsigte van
grondhervormingsmodelle.

Volgens Möller is dit nie slegs die landbou, plaasgrond en boere wat ter
sprake is nie maar die aanvaarbaarheid van Suid-Afrika as ‘n bestemming vir
belegging. Hy verwys spesifiek na die swaard van afskalings in die
kredietgradering wat voortdurend oor Suid-Afrika se kop hang.

“Namens Agri SA bevestig ek kommersiële landbou se verbintenis om van
grondhervorming en transformasie van die sektor ‘n sukses te maak en herhaal
die aanbod om saam met die regering en ander belanghebbendes prakties
daaraan uitvoering te gee. Ons aanvaar egter nie beskuldigings van
planloosheid binne ‘n omgewing wat planne onmoontlik maak nie” sê Möller.

Uitgereik deur Agri SA, Direktoraat: Korporatiewe Skakeling Navrae Mnr
Johannes Möller, President Agri SA, 082 647 8481 Dr Theo de Jager,
Adjunk-president Agri SA, 082 332 2110 Mnr Hans van der Merwe, Uitvoerende
Direkteur, Agri SA, 012-643 3400 of 082 388 0001

“As was the case during the debate around the budget vote on rural
development and land reform this week, accusations that the existing group
of white farmers had stolen their land persist in various circles, including
the EFF,” says Agri SA president Johannes Möller.

According to Möller, deliberations in this regard is driven at such a low
level of applicable knowledge that well-founded arguments to the contrary
barely reach this target. “Why is there a debt-asset ratio of almost 60% on
land and fixed improvements if land had been stolen? Does the fact that
farming units have declined from 118 000 in 1950 to the current figure of 40
000 mean that farmers have also “stolen” this from one another? It is
general knowledge that approximately 5% of farm land is traded annually.
This in effect means that the total area of all farmland in South Africa had
been traded over the past 20 years. Thus, in the “era of democracy” the land
market has been dynamic based on trading and was not characterised by
so-called theft,” said Möller.

According to Möller, the policy environment for land reform is currently
characterised by conflicting statements from political leaders, visibly poor
coordination of policy stances and clearly very poor communication around
this matter. “It is impossible, amid restitution and related land claims
processes that will drag on for another five years, to make meaningful
progress with land reform, shareholding schemes, the relevant proposals in
the National Development Plan and black economic empowerment in general,”
says Möller.

Farmers are now sick and tired of being constantly blamed for South Africa’s
failed land reform process and of allegations that producers do not have a
clear plan, whilst the department, both in the said budget and due to
repeated practices which have failed dismally, has been unable to come up
with a workable plan or implementation strategies. This despite, Agri SA is
already working with the National Planning Commission on land reform models.

According to Möller, it is not only agriculture, farmland and farmers that
are at issue but also the acceptability of South Africa as a destination for
investment. He referred specifically to the constant threat of South
Africa’s credit rating being lowered.

“On behalf of Agri SA I can confirm commercial agriculture’s commitment to
successful land reform and transformation of the sector and herewith repeat
our offer to work with the government and other stakeholders to give effect
to this. We, however, do not accept the accusation that we are without a
plan within an environment that makes planning impossible, says Möller.

Issued by Agri SA, Directorate: Corporate Liaison Enquiries Mr Johannes
Möller, President Agri SA, 082 647 8481 Dr Theo de Jager, Deputy President
Agri SA, 082 332 2110 Mr Hans van der Merwe, Executive Director, Agri SA,
012-643 3400 or 082 388 0001

Thea Liebenberg
Mediaskakelbeampte
Media Liasion Officer
* +27 (0) 82 388 0008
* +27 (0) 12 643 3434
; +27 (0) 86 683 2809
* thea@agrisa.co.za

Inkwazi Building, Block A, 1249 Embankment Road, Zwartkop X7 P Bag 180,
Centurion, 0046, South Africa * Tel / Phone: +27 (0) 12 643 3400 Webtuiste /
Website: www.agrisa.co.za
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