AgriSA: Reforms needed for Ramaphosa to deliver on Sona promises

AgriSA says President Cyril Ramaphosa’s statement on land expropriation without compensation is not aligned with the principles of the Constitution.

FILE: President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers the State of the Nation Address at the Parliament on 16 February 2018. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - While some originations remain confident President Cyril Ramaphosa will deliver as promised in his State of the Nation Address (Sona), others say some reforms need to be looked at.

AgriSA says Ramaphosa’s statement on land expropriation without compensation is not aligned with the principles of the Constitution.

But adds discussions should take place with the government.

AgriSA’s executive director Omri van Zyl said: “Clearly within the party, you have to balance multiple interests. His [Ramaphosa] speech was geared towards economic growth, which we are very excited about and we see agriculture as one of the key growth notes in the economy.”

At the same time, AfriForum has raised concern over President Ramaphosa’s repeat reference to expropriation without compensation of agricultural land.

He reiterated the African National Congress’ (ANC) policy decision will be rolled out to bring more producers into agriculture and to make more land available for cultivation.

The newly-inaugurated president says expropriation without compensation will be implemented in a way that increases agricultural production, improves food security and ensures land is returned from whom it was taken from under colonialism and apartheid.

AfriForum Deputy CEO Alana Bailey said: “That creates a lot of uncertainty in the agricultural sector and with aspects like drought, there’s a lot of concerns about food security. We’d have liked to see more clarity about what he intends to do.”

STATE-OWNED ENTERPRISES

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) has welcomed Ramaphosa’s plans to stabilise and revitalise the country’s state-owned enterprises.

Ramaphosa says the government will ensure that all state-owned entities fulfil their economic and developmental mandates.

In his State of the Nation Address he emphasised government will also change the way boards are appointed, so that only people with expertise, experience and integrity serve in these positions.

Fedusa General Secretary, Dennis George said: “The president made an important announcement by saying it’s unacceptable to think that SOEs can get out of their trouble by borrowing money.”

Meanwhile, Cosatu’s Tony Ehrenreich has also celebrated strides made regarding the implementation of the National Minimum Wage.

“Cosatu looks forward to the minimum wage being enacted from 1 May. This is an important victory for workers. It might not be the exact wage that we want but it will lift six million workers out of poverty wages, so this is an important move in the right direction for South Africa.”

WATCH: Sona 2018