Land Financial institution refutes allegations of ‘orchestrated assault’ on farmers to save lots of itself


| Bruce Whitfield will get enter from each the Southern African Agri Initiative’s Dr Theo de Jager and the Land Financial institution’s Sydney Soundy.

– The Southern African Agri Initiative (Saai) accuses the Land Financial institution of utilizing bullying techniques towards farmers behind with repaying their debt

– Bruce Whitfield will get enter from each Saai’s Chairperson Dr Theo de Jager and Sydney Soundy, Govt Handle of Technique and Communications on the Land Financial institution


© Kostic Dusan/123rf.com 

South Africa’s Land Financial institution is being accused of finishing up an aggressive debt assortment drive which is threatening farmers and their landholdings.

Farmers gathered for a gathering on Thursday, organised by the Southern African Agri Initiative (Saai).

The group accuses the embattled state-owned Financial institution of attempting to save lots of itself via what it says are “bullying techniques”.

RELATED: Treasury must step in the place Land Financial institution defaults on bonds, says AgriSA CEO

Bruce Whitfield interviews Saai Chairperson Dr Theo de Jager and Sydney Soundy, Govt Handle of Technique and Communications on the Land Financial institution.

Image of Dr Theo de Jager at a meeting of farmers on 17/08/22 posted by the Southern African Agri Initiative @Saai.org

Dr de Jager explains that as a community for household farmers, Saai’s members are extra small- and medium-sized enterprises.

“It is a ‘household’ making a dwelling from the land” he says.

We have seen amongst our members that there’s this actually stunning variety of farming enterprises which have been knocked over, liquidated, by the Land Financial institution… by a number of different corporations too however principally by the Land Financial institution, for debt which is barely a fraction of the asset worth of these farmers.

Dr Theo de Jager, Chair – Southern African Agri Initiative

Fairly often they’re third- and even fouth-generation farmers on that land. They’ve owed rather more to the Land Financial institution in relation to their belongings earlier than, however unexpectedly over the previous couple of months they’re being liquidated left, proper and centre and as soon as that course of is finished they’re being left with nothing. We couldn’t discover one of many farmers who might stroll on the market with something to begin over once more.

Dr Theo de Jager, Chair – Southern African Agri Initiative

It’s also actually notable that amongst these farmers who’ve been liquidated there’s not one poor one; there’s not one farmer who’s actually bankrupt… The farmers who’re being knocked over are these with sufficient fats of their system that there is some huge cash to be made out of this liquidation course of, and because of this we blew the whistle.

Dr Theo de Jager, Chair – Southern African Agri Initiative

Is de Jager implying there’s corruption on the Land Financial institution? asks Whitfield.

“It’s common trigger that the Land Financial institution is in very deep bother” the Saai Chair responds.

Simply see the Auditor Normal’s final report which was certified on the idea that he questioned whether or not the Land Financial institution continues to be actually a viable enterprise. That may in all probability inspire the aggression behind the liquidation, particularly of these from whom cash may very well be made.

Dr Theo de Jager, Chair – Southern African Agri Initiative

I feel it’s fairly honest to demand a correct investigation into the downstream processing of liquidations… If the Land Financial institution is so certain its nostril is clear, it ought to help such an investigation into the connection between sure officers on the Financial institution and the lawyer; the lawyer and the liquidators; the liquidators and the auctioneers – as a result of often they’re precisely the identical teams – after which between the auctioneers and the massive patrons.

Dr Theo de Jager, Chair – Southern African Agri Initiative

De Jager maintains the true intention is to not gather money owed, however to boost cash to save lots of the Financial institution.

Immediately we’ve got listened to voice recordings and a few video clips the place these attorneys and these liquidators act on farms, saying to farmers ‘Hurry up, I’ve one other six farmers to knock over as we speak’.

Dr Theo de Jager, Chair – Southern African Agri Initiative

The Land Financial institution’s Soundy says they cope with purchasers on a case-by-case foundation and the allegations are baseless.

He additionally insists that the Financial institution has been following the identical means of “disciplined credit score administration controls” in latest months because it has prior to now.

We took a call in the middle of the final 12 months or so to implement purchasers that had been managed on our behalf via so-called service stage settlement intermediaries… After we enforced these purchasers there have been indications of cases the place we wanted to make sure that the identical normal of credit score administration self-discipline is appropriately instituted.

Sydney Soundy, Govt Supervisor: Technique and Communications – Land Financial institution

Authorized motion is definitely a final resort as soon as we have tried the opposite alternatives to resolve the challenges of a shopper.

Sydney Soundy, Govt Supervisor: Technique and Communications – Land Financial institution

Soundy notes that the Financial institution cannot affect due courtroom processes that regulate the repossession or attachment of belongings, or liquidation.

“So there isn’t any manner by which we expect there can be a ‘cabal’ that then additionally controls the best way by which choices get made when instances go to courtroom.”

Would he think about a gathering with de Jager to evaluation the proof he claims to have?

“Positively!” responds the Land Financial institution Govt Supervisor.

Scroll to the highest of the article to take heed to the interviews

This text first appeared on CapeTalk : Land Financial institution refutes allegations of ‘orchestrated assault’ on farmers to save lots of itself

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