President Cyril Ramaphosa has warned that South Africa will become unstable if the state does not expropriate land without compensation.
Addressing black commercial and emerging farmers at a gala dinner at the Agribusiness Transformation Conference on Monday (20 August), Ramaphosa was clear that there would be serious consequences if the plan did not go ahead, reports TimesLive.
“If we do not address it‚ it is going to cause instability in our country. If there is any risk‚ it will be around the land issue,” he said.
“Many of you as farmers would like access to land. It is necessary that we should do this to give access to those among us that want to work the land‚ so that we can heal this festering wound of the past. The only way to heal that wound is to give land to our people.”
“It will also bring about stability … We have embarked on a process of accelerated land reform. Some are getting terrified‚ some are even sending false messages abroad … It [land expropriation without compensation] has ignited a vigorous and welcomed debate.”
Ramaphosa’s comments follow the release of the Land Bank’s annual report on Monday, which warned expropriating farmland without compensation could cost the government R41 billion ($2.8 billion) if it’s forced to repay the state company’s debt immediately.
The lender has approximately R9 billion of debt that includes a standard market clause on expropriation as an event of default, the Land Bank’s chairman Arthur Moloto said in the company’s annual report on Monday.
If expropriation without compensation happens without the protection of the bank’s rights as a creditor, it would be required to repay that at once. If it can’t, a cross-default clause would be triggered.
“This would make our entire R41 billion funding portfolio due and payable immediately, which we would not be able to settle,” Moloto said.
Read: Land Bank warns expropriating farm land could trigger default