Land expropriation without compensation would collapse South Africa's economy "like a house of cards".
This according to AgriSA president Dan Kriek who spoke to HuffPost SA after the ANC's massive announcement at its national conference that resolved to start a process to amend section 25 of the Constitution and enable land expropriation without compensation.
But there was a catch. The ANC's chairperson of the NEC subcommittee on economic transformation, Enoch Godongwana, said in a media briefing that the decision must first pass a sustainability test that ensures it does not affect agricultural production, food production and other sectors of the economy.
"It is a very confusing resolution because they [the ANC] want to change the Constitution... but in a sustainable manner. This is the biggest contradiction. It would collapse the economy like a house of cards and have a massively negative impact on investor confidence," Kriek said.
"This is the worst decision that could come out this conference. But we shouldn't overreact. The ANC must be asked to explain how they intend to do this because the announcement creates uncertainty. You cannot speak of growing the economy and expropriate without compensation in the same sentence."
In the last hour, the ANC has announced constitutional amendments on land expropriation, is going to buy out private shareholders of the Reserve Bank and has downgraded the Israeli Embassy to a dog-house.— Ferial Haffajee (@ferialhaffajee) December 20, 2017
I can't wait for midnight.
Kriek said AgriSA would engage with the ANC's new leadership on the matter.
"We will defend the rights of all South African farmers to the very end," he said.
Annelize Crosby, the organisation's legal adviser, said there is "no way" such a decision would not have an impact on food production and the economy as a whole.
"It will be detrimental to the economy. Farmers will not be able to get production credit from banks, there will be food shortages, food will then become expensive and the people who will be most impacted are the poor," she said.