The proposal supports President Ramaphosa’s view that labour tenants and farm dwellers are a good case for expropriation without compensation. The case is based on six arguments:
- The expropriation of the land labour tenants and farm dwellers currently live on and use will not affect food security, destabilise the agricultural sector or undermine the economy because labour tenants and farm dwellers already occupy and use this land.
- The legal rights of labour tenants and farm dwellers to land is consistent with key provisions in the Constitution on property rights, namely, sections 25 (6) redress of legally insecure tenure as a result of racial discrimination and 25 (5), equitable access to land.
- The compensation for land labour tenants and farm dwellers exclusively occupy and use can be zero or nominal under certain conditions. This is consistent with just and equitable compensation in so far as:
- Labour tenants historically provided free labour in return for land with the material benefits of their labour accruing to the owners.
- Farm owners converted labour tenants into farm dwellers, partly to avoid land claims.
- The statutory protection of labour tenants and farm dwellers to the land they occupy and use constitute statutory property rights, which have a value that is deductible from the value of the ownership.
The Constitution does not require that market value in the case of land reform
- Settling labour tenants’ land claims with additional land (redistributive tenure) will radically transform the profile of ‘the farmer’ in KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga with 75% being black emerging farmers farming 12% of the available commercial farmland.
- A district approach to settling labour tenant claims will enable a quick land reform win.
- Large numbers of youth living on farms are disaffected and unemployed. They urgently need a stake in growing the rural economy. Redistributive tenure can achieve this.