The ANC cannot be trusted with land in South Africa and the FF Plus wants to encourage the public to provide their input and comments on the Expropriation Bill before the deadline of 10 February 2021. The FF Plus finds various aspects of the Bill alarming seeing as it essentially violates the right to private ownership.
One such example is Section 12(3)(a). Section 12 defines cases in which the government may, on “fair and just” grounds, expropriate land without compensation and paragraph 3(a) reads:
“Where land is not being used and the owner’s main purpose is not to develop the land or use it to generate income, but to benefit from appreciation of its market value”.
This is irrational seeing as many people invest in land and speculate in it just as others do in shares. It contributes to a healthy, dynamic system where land is traded on the free market.
It also does not indicate that the land may not necessarily be needed for the sake of public interest, but that it may be used for land reform.
The FF Plus has always held the view that land reform must first and foremost follow the principle of willing buyer, willing seller. If necessary, a court must determine the compensation and rule on the fairness of the expropriation.
This Bill authorises the relevant minister to solely determine the compensation and only after that the person whose property is expropriated can go to court to dispute the decision. And the applicant will have to cover the costs.
In the Bill, there are many technical aspects hiding behind vague ambiguities which may be exploited for the sake of land reform even though they seem innocent enough if expropriation is used for normal reasons (like building a road).
The definition of property also includes all forms of property, moveable, immovable and even intellectual properly.
The public must not be naive when it comes to the implications of the Bill. The ANC cannot be trusted with such an important law where it has the sole authority to decide how its vague definitions should be interpreted.
We must not be under any illusion regarding the ANC government’s intention to amend Section 25 of the Constitution to allow for expropriation without compensation.
The FF Plus is opposed to any form of expropriation of property for land reform purposes, especially expropriation without compensation. Thus, the party will oppose this Bill in every way possible.
Read the original article in Afrikaans by Dr Pieter Groenewald on FF Plus