The land you want to take...

In South Africa land is a major issue we all know and loath this. Apparently land is the promise of milk and honey, all things nice and all nice things twice. I see this as perhaps one of the best portrayed lies in the post-apartheid South Africa. I am a white male who originates from a farm and I am therefore a raging racist.

Now that we have the formalities out the way I can get back to the issue of taking my land. I grew up on a farm and I have various family members who are farmers and it is from a close interaction with them that I base this opinion.

The land on which my father is farming has been bought and paid for by the Land bank of South Africa. My father still owes them a major sum of money but I hoping he will be able to make the payments before they come and take it back. I probably sound a doom and gloom so just to give a quick economic summary of what it means to farm in the Northern Cape with sheep and cattle.

The wonderful interest rate of in South Africa is currently at 9.25%. The return on capital investment for farming is at 7% if you are the best farmer in the world and you get all the rain you need so there is enough food for your animals. You also have to hope and pray that jackal, lynx and the local community members stay away from your animals.  Should all these factors work in your favour you will be able to stay afloat while reducing the capital you invested in the farm at a steady 4% per year (You usually borrow money at prime +2 from the land bank).

Keep in mind that the diesel price, minimum wage, import export taxes and levies are also lurking in the bushes, that’s if you got enough rain and there are some bushes around. At this point you are probably thinking at least the value of the land has increased like that of a house. Yes the value of the land has increased but then you need to start using words like capital gains tax where 30% of what you make goes to the rest of the population. Utterances of giving 50% of your land to your farm hand has also done wonders for land prices in South Africa.

So let me get to my point.

Farming is hard work, believe me I have spent many thousands of hours sweating and suffering to get things working like they should. I have broken bones, needed stitches, had a piece of metal removed from my eye and endured a hell of a lot of pain in the time that I have been working on the farm. My parents aren’t massively rich driving around in big Mercs and going overseas. In fact some months the word survival comes to mind for them. I can go into a lot more detail but I trust that at this point I am boring already.

The land you want to take has some value to it if you sell it the day that you get it for free. This I cannot deny but I there is no such thing a quick easy road to riches. In farming there is no proverbial riches, although, the last 20 minutes I have sitting here on the stoep drinking a beer has been priceless.  

Brolloks En Bittergal 2014-08-13 08:32:32 PM
Nou pra jy, maar niemand kan dit vastaan nie. Ek ruil dit vir niks!
roosboom 2014-08-13 08:36:22 PM
Amen to that!!. I really feel for our farmers. Such uncertainty for their future must be so demoralising and without a doubt, a dark cloud over our ability to feed all our people in our beloved country.
Arthur Harding 2014-08-13 08:38:12 PM
I hear exactly what you are saying unfortunately most of the local population has been brainwashed to believe these truths are lies. A very sad fact
Seek Anfind 2014-08-13 08:42:02 PM
thank you proton.. excellent article. Please don't stop there thou.. keep telling this to the ignorant wannabes who feel they are entitled to just take and take.
roosboom 2014-08-13 08:54:37 PM
The ANC must have taken over News24 judging by the thumbs up and down, They are all reversed.
Wehr Wulf 2014-08-13 09:18:01 PM
Mention land issues, Mugabe or Zimbabwe in a article and the Zimbo moderator at N24 goes into overdrive thumbing you down. He/she thinks we're stupid.
Wehr Wulf 2014-08-13 09:21:01 PM
They don't want land so they can work it. They want it for the value they can derive from selling it or building shacks on it to rent out. You can't farm if you don't know how to.
steph.takadi 2014-08-13 09:33:21 PM
Thanks Proton for your article, I hope Julius will read this.
Grant Watson 2014-08-13 09:51:41 PM
notice Malema is also not helping the situation at all, my prayers are with all you farmers.
Nathi Nasir Abdul 2014-08-14 06:55:28 AM
So all this drivel is your solid proof that land mustn't be taken from you thieves? Guess what Asijiki!!