Unless South Africa ‘backs out’ of expropriation without compensation (EWC) ‘to the point that it’s a non-issue and is off the table’, the country ‘will not again aspire to rival the growth rates of comparable emerging markets’.

So warns outgoing IRR CEO Frans Cronje in an online conversation with Bronwyn Williams of Digital Discourse ZA about the fate of South Africa, why property rights matter, why expropriation is a big deal, and what proposed constitutional amendments actually mean for citizens.

Cronje says: ‘As soon as you raise doubts about [property rights], you raise doubts about the fundamental consideration ahead of every investment decision.’

For this reason, the ANC government’s commitment to EWC was the country’s ‘watershed decision’.

However, there was now nil expectation of the ANC being capable of reform or pulling back on key positions, ‘with the result that the inflection point towards reform is now very dramatic, on a scale last seen in the 1980s, where a dominant authority … runs out of room as a consequence of internal contradictions that bring about appalling economic performances and deep deficits that the party cannot sustain’, Cronje says.

‘So we are, in a sense, in a race between the ability of the ANC to action those policies (expropriation of land and assets) in its final years and whether it will be beaten to the post by its own demise.’

Watch the full discussion here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HqMK5Q4KA2c

* Digital Discourse ZA is a You-Tube channel featuring conversations on South African politics, economics, philosophy and more.