Letter: Expropriation without compensation is alive and kicking - Businesslive

12 September 2022 - Your editorial is correct that the ANC’s resolution to push expropriation without compensation (EWC) was “ill-advised”, but incorrect that it “has stalled and is unlikely to see the light of day” (“Ramaphosa’s crisis of inertia,” September 12).

Your editorial is correct that the ANC’s resolution to push expropriation without compensation (EWC) was “ill-advised”, but incorrect that it “has stalled and is unlikely to see the light of day” (“Ramaphosa’s crisis of inertia,” September 12).

On Wednesday the parliamentary committee on public works & infrastructure will decide on the wording of the new Expropriation Bill. The Institute of Race Relations has warned that this is an intrinsic part of the EWC agenda. It enhances the discretion of the state to take property, skewing the process against the property holder.

Perhaps most importantly, it defines expropriation in a manner that would enable the state to take property without this being viewed as an act of expropriation — and thus not being eligible for payment. This enables a mass “custodial” taking of land, a goal that has been affirmed by many in the country, including from within the government and the ANC.

Indeed, President Cyril Ramaphosa has himself confirmed that EWC remains a party goal. At the recent ANC policy conference he said that “despite the setback of our efforts to amend section 25 of our constitution we must continue to pursue all available options, including through legislation, like the Expropriation Bill, to implement the resolution of our 54th conference on land redistribution without compensation”. EWC, he added, was a tool “that we must utilise”.

The Expropriation Bill — and other proposals such as the land court — may lack the drama of the attempted constitutional amendment, but the impact would be equally far-reaching. Do not be mistaken in thinking that this threat has abated.

Terence Corrigan
Institute of Race Relations

https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/opinion/letters/2022-09-12-letter-expropriation-without-compensation-is-alive-and-kicking/

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