Land is on the lips of every South African, from the haves to the have nots. Government is not taking the lead to dispel any fears or expectations and so the haves have fears of dispossession and the have nots, expect yet another “hand out.” Right or wrong, constitutionally or not, land belongs to everyone, and no one should claim greater ownership. The issue of title and tenure makes the matter more complicated and despite our new democracy standing since 1994, the State has not pronounced on any issue, except to make utterances that sew confusion. To make it worse, the EFF are doing more harm than good and have investors very cagey. In early November, the Komga Farmers Association hosted a very successful land summit, where the land issue coupled with emerging farmer transformation was discussed. The event was an outstanding success because the environment allowed everyone to speak freely and frankly. Success stories showed that it is possible for commercial farmers and emerging farmers to exist side – by – side, and to be successful. If this example is anything to go by, then rather than we being doomsayers, we should see the silver lining to this example. The Minister of Agriculture gave his endorsement and commended the initiative, wishing more pf the same throughout the Country.
PROPERTY EVALUATIONS – BUFFALO CITY MUNICIPALITY
Much has been said on this vexing matter. In this issue Mike Francis writes a very good perspective and says things as they ought to be said. Unquestionably, the new rate is detrimental to investor confidence and does little to encourage development. Some of the increases are going to cause hardship and whilst the municipality feel they are correct, it’s patently clear they have not applied their minds to the outcome. We know litigation is imminent and regret that diplomacy and dialogue has not brought a change of mind. This is all the more painful considering we are litigating against ourselves. It’s the ratepayers money that will fund the Governments intractability.
What has unquestionably been a very tough year, November and December brings to an end 12 months of uncertainty, instability and anxiety. The total collapse of the Local Authority in many Municipalities has business concerned. Civil unrest and demonstrations have cost the State many millions of rands. Business expect leadership to lead, and to manage. Instead we still exist where tacit and ineffective responses to these unacceptable situations still challenge out ability to operate successfully. Our own joint action to interdict the electricity disruption in Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality has not come about lightly. Chamber has lobbied for years on this matter – but still nothing changes.
We hope for a better year giving greater opportunity for the Private and Public sector to work closer and to find solutions to many of the most fundaments breakdowns in services. We also hope for tolerance and an end to corruption and civil disobedience.
Everyone in Chamber wishes all readers a blessed Christmas a safe and festive Holiday Season, and thank members, especially all our valuable Corporate members and event sponsors.
Warmest regards, LES HOLBROOK