South Africa

Very difficult time ahead for South Africa

Dawie Roodt

Renowned economist Dawie Roodt warned that South Africa is facing a very difficult few years, with high inflation, increased taxes, and a government causing immense economic damage.

Roodt made these comments during an FW de Klerk Foundation conference on property rights for all South Africans.

The conference focused on the importance of property rights to build a successful society with a healthy economy.

One of the focus areas was the ruling party’s “land expropriation without compensation” plan, allowing the state to take land without paying for it.

In February 2018, South Africa’s Parliament passed a motion to review the property ownership clause of the Constitution.

The review aimed to allow for land expropriation, in the public interest, without compensation.

In September 2022, the National Assembly adopted the Expropriation Bill despite opposition from the DA, EFF, IFP, Freedom Front Plus and African Christian Democratic Party.

Roodt slated the plan, saying that if the government expropriates land without compensation, he is “concerned that it could lead to a totalitarian kind of state”.

He said expropriation without compensation is not only a matter of stealing property. It is a matter of stealing people’s lives and freedoms.

“There are many kinds of expropriation. I believe inflation will become a problem in South Africa. That is a form of expropriation,” he said.

“I also believe taxes are a form of expropriation, and we will see more of that because the fiscal accounts have become completely unsustainable.”

Roodt said he is concerned about the next few years in South Africa as the government is causing immense damage to the economy.

“We are in a period of political transition. The next five years will be very difficult,” Roodt said.

He had some good news. “As a democracy, we have the opportunity to get rid of an incompetent and corrupt government every five years.”

Implications of the Expropriation Bill for Agriculture and Food Security

Theo de Jager
Theo de Jager

Southern African Agri Initiative chairperson Theo de Jager said private property rights are core to agriculture and food security.

From a farmer’s perspective, having a title and secure ownership is much more than merely holding a contract which shows that you own a property.

“It is the very foundation of the free market system. It is the cornerstone of capitalism. It is the reason we have production,” he said.

He said it is so difficult to unlock the agricultural potential of many African countries because they do not have a freehold of farmland.

South Africa should learn from their African counterparts and ensure private property rights remain in place.

“We must make sure that the threats to property rights in South Africa do not become a threat to food security,” he said.


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