The civil rights organisation AfriForum will launch a comprehensive international campaign to inform governments and foreign investors worldwide that property rights in South Africa are being threatened and that foreign investments in South Africa will also not be safe should plans for property expropriation without compensation be followed through.
AfriForum’s campaign follows in reaction to yesterday’s approval of a motion in Parliament that started a process to amend the South African Constitution to bring about expropriation without compensation.
According to Kallie Kriel, CEO of AfriForum, this campaign will be launched with memoranda that will be handed over to the embassies of countries who are current South African trade partners. This memorandum will address the threat to property rights in South Africa. Kriel says that the memorandum will also be sent to all other embassies. Countries whose citizens have investments in South Africa, will according to Kriel be urged in this memorandum to place pressure on the South African government to part with plans to amend the Constitution to make expropriation without compensation possible.
Kriel warns that, should the South African government not heed pressure from abroad and continue to threaten property rights, AfriForum will directly approach foreign investors, trade chambers and the World Economic Forum on a large scale to inform them that their investments in South Africa are not safe.
“Although this will be a drastic step, it will be a necessary last resort to prevent that the South African government – through the disregard of property rights – destroys the country’s economy to the disadvantage of all in the country. As a responsible organisation, AfriForum must do everything possible to prevent South Africa becoming a second Zimbabwe, that is plunged into poverty, through the disregard of property rights,” Kriel adds.
In addition to the destruction of South Africa’s economy, expropriation without compensation according to Kriel also holds the substantial threat that it could unleash conflict in the country.
“Conflict is not in anyone’s interest and therefore AfriForum will do everything possible to mobilise international pressure to thusly prevent the violation of property rights,” says Kriel.
On the possible criticism of AfriForum’s planned action to inform international investors of the threat of property rights in the country, Kriel says that critics must not attack the messenger because they do not like the message. According to Kriel, the cause of the threatening crisis is the fact that the ruling party turned its back on the protection of property rights.