Don’t think it cannot happen to you. Farming risk is not just climate change, production, price, funding and personal safety – but also losing the very valuable assets required to farm - your farm and other assets. The risk is exacerbated by the lack of proper legal structuring to mitigate the risk.

This is so because the governing party has plans to fast track land reform in South Africa this year, as part of the second phase of the National Democratic Revolution to free the majority of the population from economic bondage. It has vowed in various policy documents over the years to transfer 30% of White owned land to Blacks, and against the background of the mere 3% transferred since inception of the land reform programme, it is expected that legislation will be implemented this year to make it possible. Close to one-third of commercial farms might be in the sight of the Government. Vast redistribution of land is on the cards, and will go hand in hand with illegal land occupation.

Farmers need to revise their risk plans, to include steps to mitigate expropriation without compensation. Expropriation risk should now be prioritized. The risk will not disappear. The Ostrich Effect is to ignore the negative issue for as long as possible, and then to respond in utter panic and agonizing stress when finally forced to act. Don’t let that happen. Farmers should act now!

With proper legal restructuring, certain safeguards can be built into your risk plan to ensure that, notwithstanding expropriation without compensation, relief for compensation is sought with International Tribunals, and farming operations to continue.

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