AfriForum anti-expropriation message has union fuming

The Liberated Metalworkers Union of South Africa (Limusa) is furious over AfriForum's call to the international community to get President Cyril Ramaphosa to stop proposed plans to amend the Constitution to allow for expropriation without compensation.

"It [is] shocking that AfriForum wishes to lobby international investors against a democratic parliamentary process which is intended at reversing the imbalances of the past," stated spokesperson Dloze Matooane.

A video was posted on AfriForum's website in which Kallie Kriel, CEO of AfriForum says his message is specifically aimed at international investors and ratings agencies.

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He said that on July 31, Ramaphosa announced that the ANC would change the South African Constitution to allow for expropriation without compensation.

READ: Land expropriation will 'advance economic development, increase food security' - Ramaphosa

"We know that disrespect for property rights will have a negative effect on any country," Kriel said, citing Venezuela and Zimbabwe as examples.

He asked viewers to ask the South African government to rethink its position, as investors are unwilling to invest in a country where property rights are not protected.

"The millions of people in this country need protection," said Kriel.

Matooane said the statement to global investors is an attack on workers as the manufacturing sector reels from the loss of more than 150 000 jobs during the second quarter of 2018.

READ MORE: Land: The people speak - ANC expropriation resolution won't detract from review committee's work - chairperson

It also considered it an attempt by the lobby group to hold on to the apartheid system. 

"The claims by AfriForum that Venezuela and Zimbabwe are clear examples that expropriation of land is catastrophic is also a mere farce. 

"Expropriation laws exist in all countries, including the USA and the UK. Expropriation speaks to equality and justice and it is always in the best interest of the economy."

The union reiterated its support for the call for expropriation of land without compensation. 

"We do not find it logical that the taxes of workers should be used to pay for the land that was stolen from the same working class in the first place."

Limusa was formed to represent employees in the metal industry after the National Union of Metalworkers of SA was kicked out of the Congress of SA Trade Unions.