File photo: Reuters

Funding for the controversial Expropriation Bill will be prioritised over the next three years. Although no rand amount is mentioned, the 2014/15 Estimates of National Expenditure, tabled by Pravin Gordhan yesterday, shows the government intends introducing the bill, which has caused some panic among landowners. The bill is still in draft form and has not been tabled in Parliament. The proposed law was first introduced in 2008, but was later withdrawn after clauses that removed the rights of landowners to approach the courts were criticised for being unconstitutional. A later version of the draft bill recognises the jurisdiction of the courts in expropriation matters. It could be used in conjunction with the Restitution of Land Rights Bill passed by the National Assembly on Tuesday. – Sapa