The proposed amendment to the South African constitution that will see farmers' land being seized without compensation will scare away foreign investors and imperil food security, head of Transvaal Agricultural Union told RT.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday announced that the ruling African National Congress (ANC) would formally introduce an amendment into the parliament that would legalize redistribution of land, most of which has been owned by the country's white minority since the 1600s.
Ramaphosa cited the overwhelming support the controversial proposal received at public hearings, arguing that the expropriations would "unlock economic growth" and "bring more land in South Africa to full use."
Bennie Van Zyl, general manager of the Agricultural Union of South Africa (TAU SA), believes the result would be the exact opposite.
"For us, this is a pity that they've made their choice, because no one will invest in this economy and we actually need growth to address the realities of South Africa. So we have great concern for this approach," Van Zyl said.
He said that some foreign countries have already reached out to the union and warned they would have to pull the plug on investing in South Africa's agriculture if the expropriation law is enacted.
"A lot of foreign countries that have already contacted us as an organization say if that is the case, we are not willing to invest in your country anymore, " he said, lamenting the law is going to "kill" investment.
"And if the ANC goes through with this, it will be devastating for this country," he said.
Past experience of expropriation isn't reassuring, either, as many of the farms that have been handed over under the ANC have gone out of production.
It is estimated that the major share of the land transferred since the apartheid system's collapse in 1994 suffered a drop in production or is no longer cultivated. The Economist reported that about 70 percent of the eight million hectares of the redistributed land is now fallow.