LETTER: Louw and Malikane wrong
SA’s leading apologist for monopoly capitalism is your columnist Leon Louw. His monopoly socialist counterpart is Treasury adviser Prof Chris Malikane. Neither takes any notice of the Constitution on land and taxes.
Louw’s problem is in advocating land should be “owned” by someone (Racists do not trust black people with full land ownership, April 12). That is even though the owner did not make it. Nor did the person who sold it. This is normally theft. Possibly in acknowledgement that the Maker’s signature was missing from the first title deeds, the drafters of the Constitution declared citizens should simply have access to nature’s bounty. It means leasehold not freehold tenure.
Cape Colony governor John Craddock saw leaseholds would attract settlers to the Cape because they would not have to pay an up-front price of 15 years’ rent.
In the early 1800s, he introduced perpetual quitrent tenures, a user-charge like rates and taxes. The rent was determined by the market.
Louw also sounds off against the expropriation of unearned land values without compensation, but is silent about the daily expropriation by income taxes and VAT.
In his idea of private property, it is okay for people to profit from what they do not make. Yet section 228 of the Constitution constrains the state from raising taxes that hurt the economy. Land rents cannot damage the economy for they are neutral about what citizens do with the land.
Malikane’s apology for socialism lacks logic because his socialism is irredeemable, as anyone who visits Russia will attest.
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