'Constitutional change is not about land reform. It’s about the election'

pexels.com, 2018

The reformist faction of the ANC is playing a delicate game… this is one of the trade-offs…

Nic Borain

The Constitution doesn’t have to be changed… The Constitution allows it… We shouldn’t try to amend this… Maybe a definitional change is OK…

Cas Coovadia, Banking Association of South Africa

Parliament’s adoption of a resolution to change a part of the Constitution to allow for the expropriation of land without compensation will cause “large-scale damage to the South African economy”, according to Agri SA.

Agri SA says the motion goes against sustainably reforming agriculture, and would knock investor confidence.

On Wednesday President Cyril Ramaphosa told the European Parliament that South Africa would enact land reforms in adherence to the country’s Constitution and with respect for the human rights of all its people.

Ramaphosa further assured the Europeans that land reform would happen in a way that does not threaten food security.

The World Bank, also on Wednesday, said plans to allow for expropriation of land without compensation had unnerved investors.

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviewed political economist Nic Borain and Cas Coovadia, Managing Director at the Banking Association of South Africa.

Listen to the interviews in the audio below (and/or scroll down for more quotes from it).

This Constitutional amendment is not a healthy one… they’re changing the Constitution not to facilitate land reform, but to perform better at the polls… The Ramaphosa faction fought tooth and nail to stop this, and lost… They fought it because they understood it alarms investors.

Nic Borain

Investors are alarmed, but not panicked.

Nic Borain

I just don’t see it happening [before the election]… it would be technically impossible.

Nic Borain

I don’t think this will reach finality for quite some time yet… We can’t allow the uncertainty to continue, it’s not good for the economy… He needs to reiterate that food security and investment will not be affected…

Cas Coovadia, Banking Association of South Africa

Land reform must be done in a way that brings people into the economy and promotes growth.

Cas Coovadia, Banking Association of South Africa

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