The IFP questions the sanity of the
delegates of the weekend Land Summit in Johannesburg who
rejected the current willing seller-willing buyer principle as
the basis for land redistribution. The principle in question,
the Summit concluded, has not delivered enough.
"Whether we like it or not, there are
no viable alternatives to the willing seller-willing buyer
scheme," said Dr Lionel Mtshali MPP who leads the IFP
caucus in the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Parliament and holds his
party's finance and economic development portfolio.
The government wants to see 30 percent of
agricultural land transferred to the previously disadvantaged by
2014. "This is an ominous vision," said Dr Mtshali.
"It is estimated that 90 percent of farms handed over to
emerging farmers are no longer productive. If the government
reaches its target, we will lose as much as 29 percent of our
current agricultural productivity. The consequences will be
The IFP wonders what the real objectives
of land restitution are. "Are we striving for an impressive
statistical number of black farmers or tolerable levels of
productivity upon which our consumer markets rely?" - asked
Dr Mtshali. "The collapse in agricultural productivity
following the ill-fated land grabs of 2000 in Zimbabwe, which
have caused widespread famine, is something the Land Summit
failed to consider."
The IFP believes there are no credible
alternatives to the willing seller-willing buyer principle.
"We do not want to go back to apartheid-style forced
removals or revisit any other form of land grabbing that has
previously failed elsewhere. None of these solutions inspire
investor confidence or promote productivity," said Dr
"In fact, no form of restitution will
help, if it is unaccompanied by a viable programme of farmer
education and training, resourcing, continued support and
supervision. The IFP would like to see more farmers from
previously disadvantaged backgrounds. But we would also like to
see them productive and proud," said Dr Mtshali.
Dr LPHM Mtshali - 082 556 0224