This media statement serves as an update on the status of the Panel Report and a response to the recent media reports regarding a "leaked copy" as well as the "AgriSA Minority Report"
The Expert Advisory Panel on Land Reform was appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa to provide independent advice to the Inter-Ministerial Committee comprised of 11 Cabinet Ministers and convened by Deputy President David Mabuza. The Panel was expected to submit its report to the Inter-Ministerial Committee by 31 March 2019.
However, the Panel requested an extension from The Presidency citing among other things, the 'overwhelming interest in engagements with the Panel via the Colloquia, Roundtables (last Roundtable with Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations and other UN Agencies on 27 March 2019), and submissions'. Due to these developments, the Panel required added time to consider all these valuable inputs. This extension was granted.
The Panel is currently finalising its Report for consideration by the IMC and The Presidency as planned. Therefore, there is no final draft that has been submitted as a report yet. During the course of its work, the Panel was divided into workstreams, each with diverse papers and consultative processes. The Report writing process includes the consolidation of the various inputs. Of importance in this consolidation is the discussion and capturing of areas of disagreement as stipulated in the Panel's Terms of Reference (TOR), clause 4.3 that reads:
"Panel will strive to reach consensus where possible, and indicate areas of consensus in its report. If conflicting views are unresolved, however, this should also be reflected in the report."
In terms of Expropriation without Compensation (EWC), the TOR are instructive in 3.4 clarifying areas of focus, and more explicit in 4.4 a) "Consider the motion adopted by Parliament on 14, March 2018 to amend the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996 so as to allow for the expropriation of land without compensation."
All Panel members from inception were presented with these Terms of Reference.
2. Addressing misrepresentations/misconceptions on AgriSA minority report
According to a News24 report on 19/04/2019 'Agri SA submits minority report after refusing to sign advisory panel document' by Tammy Petersen, the response is as follows:
a. Agri SA is NOT a member of the Panel, and thus has no locus standi to submit such. Members of the public and organizations were given an opportunity to submit their inputs. Mr. Dan Kriek, the AgriSA President and Mr. Nic Serfontein are Panel members in their personal capacities and not as representatives of AgriSA.
b. Access by AgriSA to confidential Panel documents is of concern to the Panel and The Presidency. This includes Press releases on the Report. This matter will be followed directly by the involved and affected Parties.
c. Of further concern to the Panel is that the 'AgriSA Minority Report' contains and lays claim on content that emanates from the Panel processes as authored by members.
d. The media report that 'Agri SA submits minority report after refusing to sign advisory panel document', is inaccurate, factually wrong and misleading. There was no document to sign, and thus no reason to refuse.
The Panel hereby requests that it be given space to finalise and submit its Report to The Presidency.
Issued by: The Presidency