by Greg Penfold

Editor's Note

Harvest SA issue 33

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To say that the topic of land reform gets people hot under the collar would be the understatement of the century. Add “expropriation without compensation” to the mix and you have a recipe to make the blood boil. Nothing can be achieved by shouting at each other without listening. Indeed, there is a certain art to listening, especially in a country where the majority stem from a culture of consensus and debate.

Speaking in the National Assembly, President Cyril Ramaphosa recently said that the land reform debate should not be reduced to a debate about expropriation without compensation.

“This is the time for everyone to stop pontificating and come forward with solutions,” he said.

This suggests that the President, who is a farmer himself, is open to suggestions from the agricultural sector. Further, he said he had already heard from Afrikaans-speaking farmers. Their question: “Hoe kan ons help? [How can we help?]”.

This topic is picked up in this issue by Land Bank, among others.

I have no doubt that the conversation will be carried further at NAMPO 2018 in May. Last year featured a series of excellent discussions with the participation of such diverse speakers as Roelf Meyer and Eusebius McKaiser, among others. The urgency of the debate is likely to be reflected at this year’s event. And the collective experience of the country’s farmers will be made to count.

The sky is not falling. Not yet. Cooler heads will prevail.

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