Boston, Cape Town:
There has been a fierce debate in South Africa on property expropriation without compensation. We agree that followers of Jesus should care for the weak, the widow and the orphans. A part of that duty we (as followers of Jesus) have delegated to government to do. We acknowledge that if we do not fulfill our duty in this aspect that government has a duty to take over that function and even enforce legislation to that effect. The allocation of property may be one of the duties that government may undertake as an interim measure. However, we believe that there is a better way by way of controlled and supervised land allocation.
Out duty is also to make sure that funds and efforts that we extend will not be wasted.
Protected Vehicle for properties
In terms of property allocation we are willing to transfer properties to a trust, or a retirement vehicle or a similar protected mechanism, hereafter called “protected vehicle”. We are willing to make funds available to compensate previous (current) owners. In addition to that we will oversee (with government) the allocation of this property to the deserving and needy people of South Africa. We are willing to assist the new occupants of the land to make the best of the land they receive.
In terms of Gupta-gate and the possible wide spread corruption and the inability of government to pro-actively assist new farmers/dwellers we are not willing to transfer land to government. The land will remain in the “protected vehicle”. People will receive land use on a seven year basis. This period could be extended, but may also be terminated. This will only happen if there is no measurable positive progress.
Current loans of banks or other financial institutions will transfer to the new “protected vehicle”.
Body of churches and others
The churches and other organised religious bodies will allocate the land in conjunction with representatives from government and the “protected vehicle”. They will form a body to oversee this process. This body will also monitor progress on the different pieces of land on a monthly basis. Besides offering assistance where required they may do an intervention. It will also recommend transfer of the land to the new occupants once success has occurred as agreed upon with the new occupants.
The land may return to the original owner or his appointees (at a market related price) after a period of 21 years. This may happen if it is still in the “protected vehicle”.
Most importantly, there is no need to amend the South African constitution if this mechanism is in place. Government should change current legislation to give this body ample power. They could then negotiate with owners of suitable “identified” farms or pieces of land.
on behalf of a few followers of Jesus, the “we” of this blog.
30 August 2018
Boston, South Africa