The civil rights organisation AfriForum published an investor’s’ guide on 17 February 2020, to warn foreign investors about the dangers of expropriation without compensation in South Africa. The guide is aimed at empowering them with information to allow them to put pressure on the South African government to discontinue economically destructive policies. It was published as part of AfriForum’s #TheWorldMustKnow campaign to strengthen investor confidence in South Africa rather than deter investors.
“The underlying fact is that the South African government is dabbling in destabilising policy ideas, however. These have already created great distrust among investors,” says Ernst Roets, AfriForum’s Head of Policy and Action. “Investors’ confidence cannot be sustained by people who are pulling the wool over investors’ eyes and trying to sell horse manure as ice-cream. This is rather achieved by empowering potential investors with the necessary information to put pressure on government to discontinue these destabilising policy ideas.”
The investors’ guide was compiled with specific reference to the report that was published in the past year by President Cyril Ramaphosa’s advisory panel on land reform. Ramaphosa affirmed the recommendations of the panel during his State of the Nation Address on 13 February 2020, and said that implementation would go ahead. The report can therefore be seen as a summary of Ramaphosa and government’s plan on land reform.
Problems with the plan pointed out in the investors’ guide include the following:
The process to obtain the public’s inputs on expropriation without compensation was littered with procedural irregularities.
Statistics were fabricated or selectively cited to motivate the alleged necessity for a more radical redistribution of land.
Government’s ideas are economically naïve and have racist undertones.
It shows significant ignorance for the realities of commercial agriculture.
The report – which was distributed internationally – encourages potential investors to use their influence by taking a stand in public and taking up their preconditions with government instead of simply withdrawing their investments without taking a stand.
Read the original article in Afrikaans on AfriForum
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