Cape Town — The Democratic Alliance (DA) has warned that abandoning the "willing buyer, willing seller" principle in land reform was reminiscent of what had happened in Zimbabwe and would have significant negative consequences for the country.
DA land affairs spokesman Maans Nel was reacting to a report in Business Day about a discussion document on land reform which calls for the willing buyer, willing seller model to be abandoned in favour of expropriation -- the so-called Zimbabwean model.
Nel said "abandoning the 'willing buyer, willing seller' principle in favour of a model that sounds uncomfortably close to the pre-land-invasion model in Zimbabwe would have far-reaching consequences for SA.
"Leaked reports and meetings behind closed doors can only serve to fuel uncertainty, confusion and mistrust around land reform. The government must immediately embark on a committed attempt to speed up land reform in line with its policies and the constitution."
Reports that land affairs officials were discussing a radical departure from current policies had again surfaced. The proposals, he said, would undermine the constructional provisions which enshrined the just and equitable purchase of property by the state as well as the need to consider market value.
"Rather than holding discussions in secret, the land affairs department should open the debate up to all role players. Any proposals to change policy cannot be dictated by government as it is a constitutional issue and will have to go through the Constitutional Court.
"The DA is fully in favour of a sustainable, equitable and just land reform programme. However, we believe in the retention of a market-oriented approach to land reform."