What are the Reasons for Expropriation without Compensation? What South Africa’s farmers face today is not about poverty, or public pressure, or even land itself. They have been swept up in a far deeper political and ideological conflict. This battle of ideas will determine whether South Africa will survive as a modern, free, and open society, or whether it will sink into a socialist and later communist morass of poverty, oppression, and state control.
As you break down the myths and falsehoods, you realise that Expropriation without Compensation (EWC) is not about land at all – but about four other things.
An attempt to out-manoeuvre the EFF on land
The first of the reasons for EWC is an incompetent attempt to outmanoeuvre the EFF on land. But that has backfired spectacularly with the EWC issue creating new and previously undreamed of political platforms for the EFF – such as their virtual chairing of public land hearings (although we have ever more reason to believe that the two parties are working hand in glove towards their reunification).
Push the idea of custodial taking of property
The second is an attempt to extend as a general principle of law the idea of a regulatory or custodial taking and thereby eroding property rights generally – something that can succeed minus a Constitutional amendment. Land is just the thin edge of the wedge, as the current NHI policy proposal reveals.
Unite the tripartite alliance
The third is to try and unite the tripartite alliance. Unity is a greater policy priority for the ANC than reform and to unite a political movement, you need an enemy and the years of mostly unchallenged political and media propaganda against commercial farmers has allowed the government to portray them today as an enemy of the people.
Erode civil rights
The fourth is to open the way to the erosion of civil rights broadly, given the likely future threats to the ruling party’s political hegemony, and given that property rights anchor human liberty in all free societies. Step by step, the components of a downward economic, social, and political spiral are assembled and put into motion.
This article is based on Don’t let State Capture take our eyes off the ball – IRR chief, Frans Cronje