Written evidence submitted by TAU SA
TAU SA, formerly Transvaal Agricultural Union,
is the oldest agricultural union in the Republic of South Africa
having been established in 1897. Since its inception, it has been
in the forefront to maintain commercial agriculture in the interest
of economical stability and food security in South Africa.
2. TAU SA'S CURRENT
TAU SA is ferverently in favour of:
2.1 The maintenance of RSA's food- and fibre
2.2 The economical sustainment of commercial
2.3 The willing sellerwilling buyer
principle as the only way in which property can exchange.
2.4 Ensuring a safe and secure environment
within which commercial farmers, their families and employees
may live and work without fear of theft and violent criminality.
2.5 Respect for property rights and legal
ownership of property.
2.6 Payment of taxes and levies based on
provision and quality of services rendered by local-, provincial-
and national government.
3. CURRENT REALITY
3.1 The Amendment Bill on the Restitution
of Land Rights seriously threatens property rights and ownership
of land. Owners affected by expropriation have no recourse to
a court of law except to challenge remuneration.
3.2 Commercial agriculture, and thus South
Africa's ability to produce food for the populace, is seriously
jeopardised. Very few, if any, farms which have been transferred
to land claimants, have been successful commercial enterprises.
Many such farms have been utilised as squatting areas.
3.3 Commercial farmers are faced with unprecendented
crime in rural areas. Notwithstanding stock- and game theft, theft
of produce, fuel and equipment, more than 1,600 farm dwellers
have been murdered since 1991. This represents in excess of 8,000
attacks on rural dwellers.
3.4 The realities of South African history
are deliberately extorted beyond recognition only to accommodate
a specific political parties ideology.
3.5 Commercial landowners have already been
unilaterally deprived of original mineral and water rights. This
in effect constitutes alienation of property through a process
3.6 Commercial farm owners are subjected
to a range of local taxation for services not rendered. The scale
of such taxation by far exceeds viability of economic sustainable
commercial enterprise of commercial farming.
3.7 Notwithstanding Constitutional guarantees,
citizens of European extraction are in the process of being sidelined
from general economic activity in the country of their birth.
3.8 The Landless Peoples Movement (LPM),
affiliated to the National Land Commission (NLC) and sponsored
by foreign donors, including British institutions, has openly
threatened farmers through the media with violence and death,
but instead of being charged appropriately, received an urgent
audience with the Minister of Land Affairs, elevating the LPM
in status to an unacceptable level.
3.9 In a documentary shown by the BBC, farmers
are portrayed as barbaric racists, guilty of inhumane behaviour.
Irrespective of written complaints directed at the BBC, no supportive
facts have been produced, in fact no response from the BBC has
been received, and the clear incitement of racial anger and hatred
3.10 Countless, if not all of Government
land reform projects have resulted in failure, poverty traps for
the people supposed to benefit from it and the total destruction
of once successful business units, simply due to untrained people
being settled on developed land, without any assistance by Government,
left to fend for themselves. In many cases the former landowners
has come to their rescue.
3.11 The land obtained from successful producers
of food and fiber under the threat of expropriation and other
forms of intimidation, lie fallow, whilst the previous owners
are struggling to start a new career and the claimants are left
to fend for themselves.
3.12 Many farms are available on the open
market at acceptable open market prices, whilst State owned land
are simply left unused, or under utilized. Government nevertheless
insists on threatening and intimidating farmers with threats of
expropriation if they do not co-operate within the Department
of Land Affairs' process of redistribution and resettlement.
3.13 The sweeping expropriation powers now
obtained by the Minister of Land Affairs, reminds strongly of
Zimbabwe in 1991. The same powers were given to individual ZANU
PF Party leaders and the consequences are clear for all the world
3.14 TAU SA intends avoiding a similar situation
in South Africa, with or without Government assistance. That situation
is not limited to the violent take over of agricultural land.
It is neither the attack and murdering of farmers. South Africa
has more experience of both since 1994 than Zimbabwe.
The Zimbabwe situation is:
3.14.1 An inflation rate of well over a
3.14.2 Total collapse of the national economy;
3.14.3 A starving populace and collapse
of health services;
3.14.4 Collapse of law and order;
3.14.5 State security forces applied to
subdue the populace and keep the ruling party in control;
3.14.6 Food used to victimise the opposition
party members, or even as a form of ethnic cleansing;
3.14.7 Total destruction of fauna and
flora and infrastructure;
3.14.8 A dictatorship/one party state.
4. Revolutions in Africa has very distinct phases
and is only completed once the final phase is in place.
These phases are:
5. SOUTH AFRICA
Is at present a considerable way into the third
5.1 Irrespective of what we envisaged and
prayed for before and immediately after 27 April 1994, South Africa
is proving to be no different from other African countries. There
was considerable hope for Zimbabwe prior to 1999, but cycle had
to be completed. We know the outcome. Compare Zimbabwe before
1999 with South Africa today and the parallels are distinctly
clear. President Mbeki's support of Mugabe is a contentious issue,
here and in Britain and USA.
5.2 The recorded history of Southern Africa,
albeit done by so-called colonialists and kept in European archives,
are blatantly swept away. The land to which only the Khoi and
San peoples can historically and rightfully lay claim, is now
under siege of the so-called majority. They, the Koi and San descendants,
are left only a reservation in the Kalahari Desert, simply because
they are a minority. All other ethnic groups, if the same rules
apply, shall be regarded as "settlers" and the question
that needs to be answered, is to define the term "indigenous"
5.3 Universally recognised treaties dating
back to the nineteenth century are documented and kept in archives
and form part of the historical records in Britain and elsewhere.
Nevertheless, land claims even on that specific land has been
instituted and such treaties are simply ignored.
5.4 The European descendants, the farming
stock of South Africa are now to lose their property, their farms
and only source of income. They are even labeled by President
Mbeki as colonialists, invaders and landgrabbers. They are continuously
branded as thieves, racists and oppressors. They are made to feel
extremely unsafe and unwelcome in their country of birth. They
are slowly but surely driven out of Africa. They are a minority.
5.5 Would the same rules apply to the Caucasians
of the United States of America, or the Australian and New Zealand
citizens of British descent?
5.6 If the same rules apply internationally,
South Africans of European descent could lay claim to the land
of their European ancestors. Would that be acceptable for the
respective countries of origin?
6.1 We need to avoid the stage where South
Africa will become another (the final!) basket case of Africa.
6.2 The truth of what is happening in Southern
Africa needs to be told. Turning a blind eye, or supporting the
processes, has only one outcome. Extreme poverty, famine and destruction
of a wonderful country, (developed to first world standards, with
the assistance of western countries, especially Britain). detrimentally
affecting all who live in it.
6.3 TAU SA urgently requests the opportunity
to raise these issues with yourselves and other influential institutions.
We need to influence our Government to reconsider its actions
and rather utilise existing market powers to bring wealth and
prosperity to Africa.
6.4 TAU SA has no political goals or intentions.
It is an established agricultural organisation and believe that
the answer to Africa's dilemma lies in sufficient food and fibre,
jobs and housing, a safe environment, law and order, effective
health care systems, equality and respect for all cultures and
ethnic groups, the creation of wealth through a free market system,
with as nucleus, the protection of, and respect for private property
WE ARE STARTING WITH OUR OWN COUNTRY,
SOUTH AFRICA, AND INTEND CONTRIBUTING TO THE SAME FOR THE REST
OF OUR CONTINENT. WE NEED YOUR ASSISTANCE TO ACHIEVE THAT.