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Nation in Conversation 2018 Kicks-Off with Policy Matters and Scenarios

  • 15 May 2018
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  •  Nation in Conversation
  •  nation-in-conversation

Theo Venter, political and policy specialist at NWU Business School anchored the session and the panel was made up of, Afgri’s Chris Venter, Zimbabwean politician and farmer Simba Makoni, Raphael Karuaihe from the JSE and Namibia with some farming experience and Russell du Preez an entrepreneur and farmer.

The panel agreed that policy uncertainty lead to investment uncertainty and called for government to address this issues as a matter of urgency.

Simba Makoni said: “Don’t do what we did in Zimbabwe. It took 15 years for us to decide on land expropriation without compensation, then it took another 7 years for us to decide what to do with the land. And in that time we went from being the bread basket of Africa to the basket case of Africa.”

He added: “You need to make a decision and then implement it, there is no time to be indecisive.”

Russell du Preez believed that a key factor was granting title deeds to people. “In 1956 apartheid architect Hendrik Verwoerd commissioned a study which recommended giving land to the people in the homelands back then, he decided against it because he said they could not trust the people… We must learn from the past and not make the same mistakes.”

Raphael made the point that in South Africa’s cattle industry, the country imports about 10-20% to meet annual demands, “however there are about 5-6 million head of cattle in the black traditional farmer’s hands which has no commercial value. This challenge needs to be addressed.”

Chris added that “the key issues which influence success in agriculture is access to capital, infrastructure, skills development and a free market, and government’s policies must address each of these issues in alignment.”

Discussion anchor, Theo Venter, suggested that land reform was a given, “however the challenge is about how we do it.”

For the full episode of this riveting discussion please visit the Nation in Conversation website at to view the full broadcast schedule.

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