Land grabs 'will ruin SA'. It's happened before

Venezuela expert has dire warnings for SA as it plunges down the global property rights index

10 August 2018 - 07:00 By Katharine Child
Image: Thinkstock Images

A global expert has warned that SA must learn hard lessons from Venezuela, which has plummeted into poverty since implementing land expropriation almost 20 years ago.

Sary Levy-Carciente, a professor at Venezuela’s National Academy of Economic Sciences, was in SA to launch the annual International Property Rights Index, which measures property rights in terms of the ability to buy property or land in various countries, and ensure it is not seized without compensation.

The index shows, among other things, that SA has dropped 10 places since 2017, the biggest drop of all countries.

Levy-Carciente told Times Select that at the beginning of the century the Venezuelan government started to expropriate farms, land and factories. The manufacturing industry then collapsed, as did farms as the expert farmers and business owners were replaced by government officials without the required expertise.

Levy-Carciente said her country’s decline into poverty, starvation and mass emigration had started with the expropriation of land and businesses. “Government couldn’t cope and started printing money. Money became worthless.”

Read the full story on Times Select.