COSATU welcomes the National Assembly's passing of the Expropriation Bill
COSATU strongly welcomes and supports the National Assembly’s adoption of the Expropriation Bill and urges the National Council of Provinces to process and pass the Bill as soon as possible. We support this progressive Bill as it provides for:
- One clear legal framework for expropriations.
- Checks and balances to protect affected parties’ interests (including workers who’s houses are the properties most often expropriated for the building of roads etc.).
- Access to legal recourse for all affected parties.
- Reasonable limits to time frames to avoid wealthy parties unnecessarily delaying processes indefinitely in court (e.g. land owners in land restitution cases demanding exorbitant payments from government).
- Linking compensation payments to the new valuator general to avoid exorbitant payment demands (e.g. in land restitution cases).
- Including the history of a property’s acquisition and usage when determining compensation (e.g. if a property had been acquired during apartheid era forced removals).
It will empower government to expropriate land, natural and other resources in support of land reform and restitution and addressing the legacies and inequalities of the past.
It will also end the endless delays in court by providing clear legal timeframes whilst providing the necessary legal checks and balances as provided for in the Constitution and to protect the rights of ordinary citizens.
COSATU however urges the NCOP to amend the bill to prohibit any compensation being given to persons’ whose property had been acquired during apartheid and colonial forced removals.
Statement issued by Cde Matthew Parks, COSATU Parliamentary Officer, 24 February 2016