Cape Town – The South African Agriculture sector has reportedly hailed the government’s unsuccessful bid to expropriate land without compensation, saying this restores investor confidence in the country.
This comes after opposition parties on Tuesday rejected the controversial land expropriation bill.
The proposed law failed to garner the required two-thirds majority in the 400-seat parliament, with 204 lawmakers voting in favour and 145 against.
The ANC needed 267 votes to pass the bill into law.
According to IOL, Agri SA president Jaco Minnaar described this outcome as positive for the future of South Africa.
The Southern African Agri Initiative (Saai) concurred, with the board chairperson Dr Theo de Jager, saying: “We know that the constitutional arrangement around property rights will not change in the short-term future. Some farmers who were hesitant to invest in new fields or orchids, might now do so.
“This will lead to more jobs where it is needed most – in the deep rural areas. Saai will closely watch the roll out of the expropriation bill to ensure that the integrity of the constitution is upheld, and take the matter to court if needed.”
Black South Africans were dispossessed of their land during three centuries of colonialism and apartheid, the system of white-minority rule that officially ended in 1994.
When the ANC came to power in 1994, the government pledged to redistribute 30% of South Africa’s 60 000 commercial farms to black ownership.
But as of today, whites who comprise 8% of the population “possess 72% of (the) farms”, according to figures cited by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Only around 10% are owned by blacks, who make up four-fifths of the population.
Additional reporting by AFP