Letter: Expropriation agenda is still firmly in place - Businesslive

8 December 2020 - Over the past week, as SA has begun to wind down after what must rank as one of the most traumatic years the country has ever experienced, we at the Institute of Race Relations (IRR) have been asked repeatedly whether the government’s expropriation without compensation agenda remains in place.

Over the past week, as SA has begun to wind down after what must rank as one of the most traumatic years the country has ever experienced, we at the Institute of Race Relations (IRR) have been asked repeatedly whether the government’s expropriation without compensation agenda remains in place.

This is very much the case. Foremost, here, is the Expropriation Bill. Although the invitation for comments has been withdrawn (it’s unclear why), there is absolutely no indication that the bill itself has been rejected.

This piece of legislation is one of the most important to have been put forward in decades, expanding the latitude of the state to seize private property. While much attention has been directed at the bill’s provisions for expropriation at “nil” compensation, it is arguably an even greater threat to people’s assets in that it prescribes a process heavily weighted in favour of the state that is likely to enable expropriation at significantly below market value.

More concerning is that the very definition of expropriation in the bill would allow the state to take property without this being legally regarded as expropriation at all. We caution that this could open the way for a mass taking of all land in the country with the state as “custodian” rather than as owner.

Meanwhile, earlier in the month the cabinet approved a number of policies germane to land, such as on land donations and beneficiary selection. The amendment of section 25 of the constitution will be taken up in 2021.

All in all, the move on property rights is ongoing, even if the festive season has obscured this. Be in no doubt, though, about the seriousness of the situation, its implications, and the need to act against it.

Terence Corrigan
Institute of Race Relations

https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/opinion/letters/2020-12-08-letter-expropriation-agenda-is-still-firmly-in-place/

© 2020 South African Institute of Race Relations
CMS Website by Juizi

Terms & Conditions | Privacy Policy | PAIA Manual | Accuracy Guarantee | Sponsors & Donors

m