Agripen February 2018

Agripen February 2018

Comment by industry on the State of the Nation Address (SONA) by newly elected President Cyril Ramaphosa

Agbiz strongly welcomed the State of the Nation Address by newly elected President Cyril Ramaphosa and welcomed the general thrust of his SONA’s focus on revitalising the economy and the commitment to root out corruption. “The new approach in the 2018 SONA of instilling a changed vision of hope, unity, service and prosperity is necessary to turn South Africa around to achieve Nelson Mandela’s dedication to a fair, just and decent society,” Dr John Purchase, CEO of Agbiz said. He added that the indicated policy of expropriation without compensation of property to effect radical land reform, however, remained an issue of major concern to Agbiz. To address growing uncertainty and disillusionment in the land reform space, government needs to engage Business on the issue of property rights as a matter of urgency. All the good intentions in the SONA will be in vain if property rights are not dealt with within the ambit and context of the current Constitution of South Africa,” he said.

A further interesting call by President Ramaphosa was for financial institutions to partner with government in mobilising resources to accelerate the land redistribution programme as increased investment is required in the sector. Agbiz, together with the Banking Association South Africa (BASA,) developed such a commercial model for accelerated land reform more than two years ago. Despite repeated efforts by Agbiz and BASA to implement this co-financing model, adopted in principle by the Minister and the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR), nothing came of the private sector initiative.

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