The ACDP's President Rev Kenneth Meshoe yesterday, on behalf of the Hope of Glory Tabernacle, made an oral submission to the Joint Constitutional Review Committee (CRC) on the Expropriation of Land Without Compensation.
Meshoe told the CRC that, “Government should not perpetuate the evils of the apartheid government by expropriating people’s homes without compensation.
“We must first deal with corruption in the land reform processes, before we can talk about the expropriation of land without compensation.
“We believe that before we entertain suggestions to amend section 25 of the Constitution, we should first determine which land should be expropriated without compensation. Are we referring to land belonging to businesses, churches, religious organisations or will it be privately owned land? We should also determine whether people with title deeds will also lose their land? As most people live in bonded houses, who will repay the loans if their land is expropriated without compensation?”
Meshoe also said that land owned by religious leaders should be protected because ‘they are doing a good job in their communities’.
Hope of Glory Tabernacle is opposed to expropriation of land without compensation for the following reasons:
1. Government should not perpetuate the evils of the apartheid government by taking land from legal owners without paying for it. Attempts to correct the wrongs of the past by expropriating land without compensation would be an attempt to correct a wrong with another wrong, which would be tantamount to repaying evil with evil.
2. Government has not yet determined whose land would be expropriated without compensation. It would be improper for government to expropriate used land belonging to churches, other religious groups and NGOs, without compensation. These groups are doing a great work in their communities by taking care of the needs of the poor and needy.
3. Government has not exhausted all mechanisms provided for in section 25(2)(b) such as using the courts whenever sellers demand unreasonable payments for their properties.
4. Expropriating land without compensation will deter potential investors as they will not have the guarantee that their businesses would be safe without property rights that are currently enshrined in in the Constitution.
5. Food security cannot be guaranteed when farmers are not guaranteed that they would not be removed from “their farms” arbitrarily.
6. It has not yet been determined who would be responsible for repaying the billions of rands that have been loaned to private individuals and businesses in the country. Banks would suffer harm and irreparable damage because of defaulters. This in turn will impact our economy negatively.
7. If land expropriation without compensation is made legal, then land grabs will increase and there would be chaos in the country as the police would not be able to stop the anarchy.
8. We do not want to see an escalation of racial conflicts and a repetition of what happened in Zimbabwe in this beautiful country. Our Constitution gives us a legal framework for correcting the wrongs of the past legally and orderly.
ISSUED BY: REV KENNETH MESHOE MP
5 September 2018