Farmers discuss change and the land question

DRIVING CHANGE: Managing change and land expropriation were the main topics of last week’s Farmers Day, held at the Border Eastern Livestock premises. From left are Frans Cronje from the SA Institute of Race Relations, local farmers and event organisers Justin Stirk and Brent McNamara and former British businessman John Westwood Picture: ROB KNOWLES

WITH so much uncertainty regarding the rights of land-owners in South Africa, farmers are naturally concerned that their land, much of which has been in their families for several generations, could be taken from them by the state in order to redistribute to others.

At the Border Eastern Livestock Farmers Day, held at its premises just outside Alexandria last Thursday, businessman John Westwood and non-executive director of Hobson & Co, a Brit who now lives in the farming area of Salem, drew on his vast experience as director of six companies in the UK regarding change.

“Change is inevitable and unavoidable,” he told the meeting that consisted of around 150 local farmers from the area.

The second speaker on the day was Frans Cronje, director of the SA Institute of Race Relations, and CEO of the Centre for Risk Analysis.

Cronje spoke of the land issue and how the old National Party forced the ANC into the arms of the then Soviet Union in the 1950s and 1960s.

For more on this story, catch this week’s Talk of the Town.

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