Home News ‘18 NC farms targeted for land expropriation’

‘18 NC farms targeted for land expropriation’

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The list of farms was kept confidential and neither the ANC nor government was willing to make the list public

File picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency (ANA)

A TOTAL of 18 farms in the Northern Cape have, according to AfriForum, been identified for expropriation without compensation.

AfriForum says on its website that the ANC recently announced that the party had drawn up a list of farms to be expropriated without compensation.

“AfriForum obtained a list of farms that have been identified for this purpose which is being circulated in the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform.”

The list includes 18 farms in the Northern Cape.

“Please ascertain if your farm is on the list and, if so, kindly contact AfriForum so that we can prepare for a joint legal strategy,” the organisation urges.

The Northern Cape farms listed include Middeldam 112 (Frances Baard), subdivision 2 293 (Frances Baard), Good Hope 272 (Frances Baard), Glimlach 261 (ZF Mgcawu), Uitspan 625 (ZF Mgcawu), Uitspan 115 (Pixley ka Seme), Hartebeesthoek 99 (Pixley ka Seme), farm 98 (Pixley ka Seme), Grofgeschud 34 (Namakwa), Kamiesbees 368 (Namakwa), Goubees 244 (Namakwa), Juliesvlei 372 (Namakwa), Robert 35 (John Taolo Gaetsewe), Outpost 1 (John Taolo Gaetsewe), Soetvlakte 703 (John Taolo Gaetsewe), Magadin 13 (John Taolo Gaetsewe), Annex Rietfontein (Endwyk) 143 (John Taolo Gaetsewe), and Boland 133 (John Taolo Gaetsewe).

The ANC announced last week that the party had identified 139 farms to be expropriated without compensation. According to AfriForum the list of farms was kept confidential and neither the ANC nor government was willing to make the list public.

“AfriForum obtained a document, however, that is being circulated in the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform as a list of farms that will serve as test cases for this purpose. The document does not contain the details of the 139 farms, however, but of 190 properties.”

Ernst Roets, deputy CEO of AfriForum, said that a preliminary investigation indicated that the list probably contained many farms that had no history of land claims and over which there currently existed no dispute between the owners and the state.

“We expect that many landowners will be shocked to learn that their property has been identified for this purpose. This is exactly why it is so important that the list be shared and for people to contact us.”

According to Roets, some of the farms on the list are highly productive commercial farms. “We’re not just talking about empty land.”

The total properties per province apparently earmarked for expropriation, are: North West (32), KZN (31), Free State (29), Eastern Cape (29) Mpumalanga (24), Gauteng (21), Limpopo (nine) and Western Cape (two).

The Freedom Front Plus meanwhile said yesterday that it had addressed an official parliamentary question to the Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, regarding the list of 139 farms that the government aimed to expropriate.

Dr Pieter Groenewald, leader of the FF Plus, called on the minister to make the list public as soon as possible so that the landowners who will be affected by the expropriation can get clarity.

“The list that was leaked and subsequently made public by AfriForum is causing the landowners whose names appear on the list great anxiety, confusion and alarm,” Groenewald said.

“It is, therefore, of the utmost importance that the official list must be made available so that farmers can get clarity as the situation could affect their production plans as well. Farmers simply cannot be expected to incur great production costs if there is a possibility that they might lose everything.”

He pointed out that this was in direct contrast with President Cyril Ramaphosa’s statement that expropriation without compensation will not jeopardise food security. “For the sake of food security, the official list must be made public at once.”

Groenewald urged members of the public to wait for the official list from the department and not to get upset and go into a panic.

“According to reports, officials from the department said that the farms in question are only the farms that the government had already made an offer on, but the landowners rejected the offer. The landowners who had been given an offer and refused it, will know who they are,” he said.

“In the meantime, it is only fair to landowners to give them clarity on the matter so that they can take the necessary steps if their farms are indeed on the official list.”

Agri SA questioned the status and content of the leaked list of farms said to be earmarked for expropriation without compensation (EWC). The list was published on the weekend and led to panic amongst landowners. This follows on an initial scare tactic by the ANC to target 139 farms for EWC.

In a press statement yesterday, Agri SA said it was in the process of establishing the legitimacy of the list of farms.

Dan Kriek, president of Agri SA, said it is irresponsible of AfriForum to publish such unconfirmed information, knowing it to be “inflammatory”.

“Fellow farmers have been exposed by the release of the list,” Kriek said.

He added that cursory background research showed that the list contained several inaccuracies which could easily have been verified before release.

“Upon investigation by Agri SA’s affiliates, it came to light that the list contained farms that are joint ventures that are co-owned by black people. The list also contained incomplete information on title deed descriptions and with farm names appearing without stating the subdivisions of those farms,” he stated.

“Agri SA wishes to emphasise that expropriation can only happen for a legitimate purpose mandated by statute and that a lengthy process that complies with the requirements of just administrative action needs to be followed.

“This means that expropriation cannot happen overnight and can only take place for reasons specified in a law of general application,” Annelize Crosby, Agri SA Head of the Centre of Excellence: Land, pointed out. “There are various prescribed steps that must be followed in expropriation. This includes a notice of intention to expropriate, valuation of the property and negotiations with the owners.

“As the constitution has not been changed, the requirement for expropriation remains just and equitable compensation. Agri SA will protect the interest of farmers in the courts,” the organisation added.

The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform has also denied the veracity of the list, saying it does not know where AfriForum got the list: “There is no truth to this document,” department spokesperson Linda Page said.