A third wave of a campaign to protect and extend the property rights of all South Africans by giving ordinary people the opportunity to address their concerns directly to President Cyril Ramaphosa has been launched by the Institute of Race Relations (IRR).
The IRR has invited South Africans to read and endorse the letter to the President on its website, and undertakes to deliver it to Mr Ramaphosa’s office at the Union Buildings. The government’s threat to expropriate (property) without compensation (EWC), the IRR argues, ‘imperils the future of all South Africans’.
More than 60,000 people rallied to the call to stop EWC by endorsing the IRR’s submission to Parliament on 15 June, and senior IRR staff are currently touring Europe and America to win global support for property rights in South Africa.
In the third wave of the campaign, the IRR invites South Africans to join the campaign against EWC by telling President Cyril Ramaphosa how they feel.
‘Mr Ramaphosa will have a great influence over the final decision and needs to hear the voices of the thousands of hard-working South Africans who want the government to respect property rights.
Don’t be silent. Make your voice heard. Join the millions of people who are working to create a better South Africa.’
The letter begins: ‘Dear Mr Ramaphosa, I am a proud South African who does everything I can to make our country succeed. There are millions of people just like me who work tirelessly and invest our hard-earned money and skills in building the economy, creating new enterprises, and providing the jobs and opportunities our country needs to pull millions of people out of poverty and unemployment. But your threat to expropriate what we have worked for without compensation will make it difficult for me to continue doing that. I don’t know how the government expects us to continue taking risks and investing so much of ourselves in creating a better future when it could all be taken away.
‘I find it difficult to believe that the government’s commitment to expropriation without compensation is about a sincere commitment to land reform. If the government cared about supporting black commercial farmers it would finance them and give them title to their own farms.’
The letter notes: ‘The formulae behind our country’s initial success was easy to understand; a market economy and respect for property rights, which made possible much higher levels of investment and therefore economic growth, tax receipts, and job creation, which led to significant improvements in living standards.
‘But over the past decade our country’s leaders sabotaged the trajectory we had been on. The tax paid by so many hard-working people – rich and poor – was wasted or stolen. Investors were chased away and it became harder to start a business and to create or find jobs.’
The letter concludes: ‘I am one of the millions of people who remain strongly committed to rebuilding the country and doing everything I can to create opportunities for my fellow South Africans. Nothing would make me happier than to build a future in which all our children can live together in a prosperous and stable society. But your expropriation policy will deny us that future. Please hear us and do not adopt a policy of expropriation without compensation.’
The IRR invites all South Africans to join it in striving for a better South Africa by SMSing their name to 32823.