AgBiz, GrainSA: Land Reform Must Happen Without Changing Constitution

South African farmland, a road amidst fields with corn leading to the farm house

Agricultural business chamber AgBiz and GrainSA say that land reform must happen and they support it but they’re arguing that changing the Constitution is not necessary.

They’re among 30 organisations and individuals who’ll be making oral submissions at Parliament this week.

The Joint Constitutional Review Committee, tasked with establishing whether or not the Constitution should be amended to clearly spell out how expropriation without compensation can happen, is holding four days of public hearings on the issue.

AgBiz’s Theo Boshoff: “We are committed to land reform and the transformation of the industry. As the agri business chamber, our interest is the long-term sustainability of the agro-food system and achieving successful transformation of land reform is absolutely critical to that.”

Both AgBiz and GrainSA say farmers need title deeds to land so they can access bank loans.

GrainSA’s Jannie de Villiers: “Our black farmers are not moving into commercial status because they can’t get finance. For me, the biggest issue to do with land reform is to sort out how we finance our black farmers. If they don’t own the land, they can’t get a loan.”

De Villiers says that a lack of infrastructure, such as grain silos in the Eastern Cape and poor roads, is also hampering progress.