The heated debate between proponents of property protection and those in favour of confiscation (expropriation without compensation) has been characterised by a lack of data and waged mainly on ideological and emotional arguments. The lack of an acceptable factual basis is evident in:
- Government, AgriSA and Afriforum operating with different figures for categorising land ownership according to race;
- The number of farms on the list for the first round of expropriation. (If there was such a list).
- Uncertainty about the number of recipients of free subsidy houses (where transfer of title has not taken place) and how these properties should be counted.
- Arguments that expropriation would kill the economy simply being countered with promises that the economy would not be harmed.
At the public consultations the facts applied were almost always derived from (and limited to) local situations and narratives with no or little attention to systemic information. EOSA therefore analysed last year’s WEF’s Global Competitiveness Index (as part of our enterprise research on relevant data and statistics) to assess whether there are some global indicators to inform the debate. Several significant correlations are evident from the WEF data:
- Highly competitive countries have strong protection of property rights.
- High per capita GDP goes hand-in-hand with property rights.
- Poor policing and high cost of crime for businesses are not characteristics of highly competitive countries.