On Wednesday the American secretary of state, Mike Pompeo warned South Africa that attempts to expropriate property without compensation have failed in countries such as Zimbabwe, Tanzania, and Ethiopia.
“South Africa is debating an amendment to allow for the expropriation of private property without compensation. That would be disastrous. Socialist schemes haven’t economically liberated this continet’s poorest people. The right way forward is to implement the rule of law, and show respect for property rights.”
He spoke at a media conference at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. It was at the end of his first official visit to sub-Saharan Africa.
Pompeo said what African economies need is the rule of law, respect for property rights and regulations that are favorable to attract investment to ensure sustainable economic growth.
Stef Blok, the Dutch foreign minister, recently warned that the undermining of property rights and the rule of law will scare investors.
In response, the Institute for Race Relations (IRV) said Pompeo’s warning should be seen as another wake-up call about the dangerous direction the government is taking.
Agri SA head of state Annelize Crosby said the organization had pointed out the potential negative economic consequences of amending the Constitution to the parliamentary committee investigating expropriation without compensation.