23 international pressure groups urge SA govt to abandon ‘dangerous’ EWC policy

In South Africa calls for the government not to go ahead with plans to change the constitution to allow for expropriation without compensation has been growing louder. This as business leaders and think-tanks warn repeatedly that tampering with property rights in the country will prevent the crucial investment that it needs. The government’s intent to amend Section 25 of the Constitution has also recently been criticised by the US government with secretary of state Mike Pompeo saying that the policy proposal is an example of centralised planning that has failed in other African states like Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Ethiopia. It is an issue international publications like Bloomberg and the Washington Post are increasingly focusing on. An international coalition, which includes organisations from countries around the world including the Taxpayers Protection Alliance in the United States, the Taxpayers Association of Europe and the prestigious Adam Smith Institute in the United Kingdom have now joined forces to urge the South African government to ‘protect and promote the sanctity of private property rights in South Africa.’ They strongly condemn the government’s decision to enact the policy of EWC and said the bill ‘must be abandoned immediately.’ The ANC government, which has in the past used international pressure as an effective means against the apartheid government, now finds itself on the receiving end. And this time it cannot be as easily dismissed as it happened when AfriForum went to the UK and US in 2018 and were accused of spreading false rumours about land reform and farm killings. Many of the organisations listed below have the ear of Western and other overseas governments. – Linda van Tilburg

A joint assertion on the critical importance of the protection of private property rights for a prosperous South Africa

FMF media release

Dear President Ramaphosa,

We, the undersigned 23 think tanks and advocacy organisations from around the world, representing hundreds of millions of people want to stand firmly against the South African government’s proposed policy of “expropriation without compensation”. A policy that violates the sanctity of private property rights and therefore the basic human rights of the South African people. South Africa has an internationally acclaimed Constitution premised on freedom, human dignity, and equality. Its Bill of Rights has never been altered and the evidence shows that there is no reason to do so now.

Amending South Africa’s Constitution is unnecessary and would be dangerous. Unnecessary because there already exists ample room for the South African government to engage in substantive and empowering land reform to undo the historical injustices committed by the Apartheid regime; and dangerous because it undermines the very institution the Amendment Bill ostensibly seeks to expand – ownership. Section 1(a) of the Constitution commits South Africa to “advancing human rights and freedoms”, but the policy of expropriation without compensation undermines those very objectives.

Therefore, the undersigned members of the Property Rights Alliance call on the President of South Africa, in terms of the oath you swore “to protect and promote the rights of all South Africans” and to promote the sanctity of private property rights. We therefore strongly condemn the South African government’s intention to enact a policy that will expropriate private property without compensation and call on government to abandon the Constitution Eighteenth Amendment Bill immediately.

Yours sincerely,

The undersigned members of the Property Rights Alliance

Click here for the full unabridged letter

  1. Timothy Andrews, Executive Director: Taxpayers Protection Alliance (United States);
  2. Mrs Rocio Guijarro, General Manager: CEDICE Libertad (Venezuela);
  3. Jose Luis Tapia, Executive Director: Instituto de Libre Empresa (Peru);
  4. Garret Edwards, Director of Legal Research: Fundación Libertad (Argentina);
  5. Peter Holle, President: Frontier Centre for Public Policy (Canada);
  6. Bertha Pantoja Arias, Executive Director: Caminos de la Libertad (Mexico);
  7. Natalia González, Deputy Director of Legislative and Juridical Affairs: Libertad y Desarrollo (Chile);
  8. Michael Jaeger, Secretary General: Taxpayers Association of Europe;
  9. Paata Sheshelidze, President: New Economic School (Georgia);
  10. Svetla Kostadinova, Executive Director: Institute for Market Economics (Bulgaria);
  11. Gary L Kavanagh, Director: Edmund Burke Institute (Ireland);
  12. Yuya Watase, President: Pacific Alliance Institute (Japan);
  13. Slobodan Franeta, Chairman: Global Communication Network (Montenegro);
  14. Pietro Paganini, President: Competere (Italy);
  15. Jose A Cambareri, Presidente: Nostros Los Contribuyentes (Argentina);
  16. Bienvenido “Nonoy” Oplas, Jr, President: Minimal Government Thinkers (Philippines);
  17. Roxana Nicula, President: Fundación para el Avance de la Libertad (Spain);
  18. Brian Marlow, Executive Director: Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance;
  19. Tomasz Wróblewski, President: Warsaw Enterprise Institute (Poland);
  20. Omar Shaban, Director: Pal-Think for Strategic Studies (Palestinian Territories);
  21. Eamonn Butler, Director: Adam Smith Institute (United Kingdom);
  22. Lorenzo Montanari, Executive Director: Property Rights Alliance;
  23. Jasson Urbach, Director: Free Market Foundation (South Africa)
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