The Land Issue: South Africa

A Lot has been said in the media over the past few weeks regarding the land issue in South Africa. Watts Bow Hunting would like to assure all our clients that there is no need for panic. We also urge people to refrain from fake news and news that does not have all the facts in order. Pease read the below statement, that was published by one of the professional hunting association bodies in South Africa – The Custodians of Professional hunting and Conservation – South Africa, that sheds some light on the issue:

Since the African National Congress held its National Executive Committee meeting in December and a new leader was elected in Cyril Ramaphosa. There is to a very large degree a sense of hope germinating in South Africa, that we can reverse the ills of the past 8 years and move forward with the building of our great country.

Land is the subject that has caused the most debate, anger, frustration, fear, uncertainty, hope and a litany of other emotions in South Africa. Land will remain a political issue for years to come.

President Ramaphosa has announced that he will support and follow on with “land expropriation without compensation”. This does not mean it is now law, nor does it necessarily mean it will become law! Nor does it specify white-owed farms. The motion is for all property, including urban properties.

The president has in the same breath stated the following-:
• “Food production and security must be preserved”
• “It is critical for South-Africans to engage and come up with proposals on the matter going forward”
• “Burning issue of land reform must be handled with care”
• “This will not be a smash and grab” situation “We will not allow it” (a reference to the situation in Zimbabwe)
In addition, there are processes to be followed. There will be public hearings, so all parties can make inputs and recommendations, there will be further debates in parliament and then whatever has bee decided upon will have to be tested against the SA constitution, which is one of the best in the world. The “Bill of Rings” is enshrined in the SA constitution and our court have maintained their integrity and we have no reason to doubt that our courts of law will continue to protect ALL citizens of the country.

It also needs to be considered that there is much unused land in the hands of the state. Some of this land is likely to be distributed. Municipalities too, hold much land that can be used for housing and large tracts of non-utilized state land are held in trusts by “chiefs”. These are simple examples of land that can be taken and responsibly distributed for proper use. It is unlikely that productive commercial land will be targeted.

Let us continue to work towards creating a unified and constructive approach to an issue that much be addressed, in a manner that is positive and not sow the seeds of distrust and fear through assumption, for that will be far more damaging to our industry, the wildlife ad all people of South Africa.