But this makes no sense whatsoever. If a farm has five workers with over 50 years’ service will they each receive 50%? You don’t need a degree in common sense to see that Nkwinti did not apply any math when he came up with this plan. The only way this can work is that the more workers there are on a farm, the smaller their share will be.
Government will apparently pay for the land but the money will go into an “investment and development fund” co-owned by the old and new land-owners. How will farmers be compensated for their land taking into account that most farmers need to pay back large bank loans either for buying the land or developing their land.
Another point allAfrica makes is that the purpose of the redistribution is to encourage “production discipline”. Why then allocate the largest share to the portion of the farm workers who are about to die or retire.
Meanwhile the Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU) cautiously welcomed the plan. Cautiously, because – and now we will use their words – “farm workers should not be misled that they own a meaningful equity of the assets only to discover that profits are been schemed through manipulations and balance sheets/net asset values characterising such assets are been under-valued through misallocations and asset-stripping, all to the benefit of ‘original farm owners’.”
So FAWU is saying the devil is in the practical details. That is why they are concerned about how collective share-stake and rights-exercising will work? Who will control decision-making, shareholder responsibility and rights, board representation and fiduciary duties? We are asking the same questions, like who is going to pay the bank overdraft if the crop is destroyed?
Accordiong to Nkwinti commercial agriculture, including farmers, trade unions, farmworkers and the agricultural business sector, have until April next year to react to these proposals. The aim is to “deracialise South Africa’s rural economy, democratise the allocation and use of land, and ensure food security as well as food sovereignty for the country”.