South African president Cyril Ramaphosa recently unveiled plans to allow white people’s land to be taken without compensation.
Now a lobby group claims to obtained a list of 195 farms “identified for this purpose”, reigniting the controversy over the proposals.
The AfriForum group said the document was being circulated by ministers as the government prepares to implement the policy.
But the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform denied the list was real.
A spokeswoman for the department told News24: “We don’t know where they got it from. There is no truth to this document.”
In response, AfriForum’s deputy CEO Ernst Roets accused the government of lacking transparency.
He said: “The problem is this strategy of secrecy. The department has to prove they are acting in good faith.”
He insisted the list was “definitely being circulated” and said he received it from a “confidential source”.
The issue of land ownership remains a highly emotive subject in South Africa more than two decades after the end of apartheid.
According to the government, 72 percent of private land is owned by white people, with just four per cent owned by black people.
Other racial groups account for the other 24 percent of land.
Earlier this month, AfriForum’s Ian Cameron warned the plans to seize land could spark “anarchy”.
“We’re really heading for a state of anarchy if something doesn’t change drastically. There are places where the police simply refuse to act.
“They don’t know the law well enough or refuse to apply it to logical reasoning when it comes to defending people’s property rights.”
Other experts fear the proposals could threaten the country’s food security and slow down economic growth.
Mr Ramaphosa has played down these fears, saying: “There is no need for any one of us to panic and start beating war drums.”
A white South African farmer, Spurgeon Flemington, recently took to Facebook to describe what will be the net result of South African Communists steal his family farm.
I have no doubt that the ANC Govt has given a lot of thought to the topic of Expropriation Without Compensation (EWC) however I think they might not have fully comprehended the consequences of such a policy.
As a farmer I thought it might be useful to enlighten them as to the course of action I would take once my farm is targeted for EWC.
Before I continue I would like to emphasize that this is not a threat nor delivered with the mindset of a saboteur, it is merely a description of the sequence of events that would unfold in the event of such a policy being enforced.
I would immediately identify all the moveable assets on my farm and start selling them or placing them in a suitable storage facility. I list these below simply to demonstrate to non-farmers what makes a farm functional and profitable.
The first to go would be all the livestock followed by all the machinery including tractors, pumps, silos, centre pivots, electrical transformers, irrigation equipment, water troughs, implements and piping.
I would strip the dairy and sell the bulk tanks, milking machines etc. I would take down all internal fencing on the farm and recoup what I could. All sheds would be disassembled and all houses and other buildings would be stripped of anything sellable, including their roofs.
I would disconnect/cancel the 5 Eskom points on the farm and obtain refunds on the deposits I’ve paid on them.
I would re-trench all my staff and pay them off in accordance with the Labour Act. I would then strip all the staff accommodation on the farm and sell what I could.
With the sale of all my livestock and cessation of the farming operation I would immediately default on the R5.5m I owe FNB but I wouldn’t worry as the farm is the loan’s security and I don’t really own anything else.
When the day came to leave the farm I would hand the ‘keys’ over to the new ‘owners’ but I’m not quite sure what they would do as there’d be no roof on the farm house and there would be nothing to ‘farm’ on the farm. It would just be a piece of land, but that’s ok because the ANC says owning land makes you wealthy.
When you take the sequence of events described above and multiply it on a national scale you see another sequence of events unfolding.
The new ‘farmers’ arrive on the farm but there is no livestock, machinery or working capital to continue the operation.
They go to the banks to borrow money (A good farming habit) but the banks are sitting on a R160 Billion defaulted debt book from the ‘old’ farmers and won’t lend a cent to agriculture. They’re fighting for their own survival now.
The Govt doesn’t have the money, which would be far more than the R160 Billion mentioned above, to re-capitalise and finance all the farms so most of the farms either fall derelict or are farmed at a subsistence level.
There is a massive but short-term surplus of Beef, Sheep and Poultry products due to the sell-off by the previous farmers.
This brings prices down drastically in the short term but eventually the meat runs out and there is nothing to replace it.
Meat prices skyrocket.
Dairy products cease almost immediately after the livestock cull/sell-off and within weeks there is a critical shortage of all dairy products. Importing is impossible due to the Govt’s actions which have decimated the value of the Rand.
Maize lasts quite a bit longer and with careful rationing will endure until the next season but there is no crop in the ground for next year due to the new ‘farmers’ lack of machinery, experience and access to credit.
All agricultural Co-Ops and suppliers very quickly cease operation and/or go bankrupt and re-trench all their staff. They cannot survive by selling single bags of seed and fertilizer to subsistence farmers.
All processors of agricultural products such as meat, dairy and maize cease operation due to lack of product and re-trench all their staff.
Rural Municipalities start to feel the pinch as there are no longer any farmers paying rates and the agricultural businesses in the towns have also sold up and left.
Smaller rural towns that depended on agriculture eventually collapse and rural communities are forced to travel long distances to major centres to find ever dwindling supplies.
Ironically the EWC movement creates more Urbanisation as the rural folk flee the agricultural desert that has been created.
All food dependent enterprises such as fast food chains and restaurants either disappear or are greatly reduced…along with all their staff.
With all the unemployed farmworkers, as well as those who have lost their jobs from other sectors, there is an unsustainable demand on the UIF system and it soon collapses.
The Social Grant system teeters as the ripple effect from the agricultural collapse enters all sectors and the tax-base is shredded.
Food riots become common and genuine hunger and poverty widespread.
Unlike Zimbabwe the South African population has nowhere to run.
With the White Farmer no longer an available target and the true ‘value’ of land revealed in all its fallacy the masses turn on the only target they have left. The ANC.
James E Windsor, Overpasses News Desk
August 16th, 2018