‘No expropriation without compensation’
Parliament, Cape Town – Government will never say yes to land expropriation without compensation, Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi said on Tuesday.
“As a government who has order we can’t promote anarchy. Expropriation without compensation is unconstitutional,” Nxesi said while briefing Parliament’s portfolio committee on public works on the new draft Expropriation bill.
Nxesi was responding to comments from Economic Freedom Fighters MP Nokulunga Sonti who demanded to know why government would not consider expropriating land in the public interest without paying land owners compensation.
“It’s just a populist statement which won’t help us. It will just promote anarchy in the country,” Nxesi said.
Nxesi’s deputy, Jeremy Cronin concurred, adding there was no need to panic over the bill as property rights were sufficiently protected.
“The illusion that this bill, when it becomes legislation, will enable us then to do some strange things by way of expropriating and emulate a country north of the Limpopo you know is bizarre to be alleging this,” Cronin said.
Cronin was referring to fears that the bill, if passed, would be abused to effect Zimbabwe-style land grabs.
“What this means is that it [the bill] will clearly, binding on the Constitution, describe the process which can be tested for administrative justice and provide clarity to the courts, any expropriated entities and an expropriator,” Cronin said.
The bill was meant to replace the 1975 Expropriation Act, which government believed was unconstitutional.
“Compensation in terms of the Expropriation Act of 1975 is determined primarily on the basis of the market value of the expropriated value,” Cronin said.
“The Constitution, however, requires that just and equitable compensation be paid and that such compensation be determined by having regard to all relevant circumstances, without placing undue weight to any single or particular factor.”
In terms of Section 25 of the Constitution, compensation should be determined taking into accounts five factors.
These included “the current use of the property”, “the history of the acquisition”, “the market value of the property”, “the extent of direct state investment and subsidy in the acquisition and beneficial capital improvement of the property”, and “the purpose of the expropriation”.African News Agency