My Submission during the Land Expropriation… Hearings
As a pastor, a father, a community leader, a bridgebuilder, a peacemaker and social strategist I am fighting for equality, inclusion, cohesion, and the common good of all.
On the deepest level, people are crying and grieving for an economic solution. However, you cannot fix the economic recession, huge inequality, and precarious poverty with one idea “expropriation without compensation”. The deep-rooted land reform question is simply too complex to solve, in one populist statement: This is a Robin Hood approach, of taking from the rich and giving to the poor. We remember Robin Hood for his bravery, but he did not build a nation.
Emphatically, I do believe that any man or women, who really wants to farm, should be given the opportunity, but redistribution of ALL land and ALL property, is scaring away the very people the young prospecting entrepreneur needs for mentoring and support.
Expropriation without compensation should be an option in clearly defined circumstances, such as absentee landlords, unused land, hopelessly indebted land, land held by speculators, land acquired by illegal means such as corruption or fraud, and unproductive land, and the value of land upheld. The experts of law disclosed that the Constitution does not need to be changed for this purpose.
Whether the Constitution remains unchanged, or changed. Whether people will receive land or not, eventually it will be discovered; money and prosperity follows and prevail where there is Justice, Fairness, Generosity, Order, Integrity, Faithfulness, Passion, Innovation and Hard work.
As a matter of fact the innermost heart of humanity isn’t about ownership. Jesus Christ practised a life of making many rich, yet he owned no land, and left behind no earthly possessions.
A man’s true wealth is not determined by what he owns, but by what he gives away.
In the end, it is how we stewarded the land that determines whether we produced enough, delicious, beautiful fruit, commodities and produce.
I have personally seen that in our various attempts to train people farming, from small garden projects to herb garden initiatives, a small percentage of the original attendees actually succeed in farming. It takes a certain love, passion and determination to be a farmer. Farmers are also not made in classrooms, nor in political rallies.
Let us rather take the hand of the existing farmers, glean all the knowledge we can from them, work with them, partner with them, and grow a vibrant sector that can flourish with the strength of the youth and the wisdom of the old.
The first step of any reconciliation process, is to first see and recognise the inherent treasure and riches in another. Then to form trusted, reciprocal, respectful friendships that become partnerships, and so collective potential be unlocked!
For this to happen we need to decentralise the process to the lowest level, where parties in the spirit of nation-building can meet, and find solutions together that is for the common good, builds dignity, and is inclusive.
Then we will see all people in South Africa prosper together!