OPINION

Zuma petitioned to send Expropriation Bill back to Parliament – DA

Party says president can't with good conscience sign bill until it has been brought in line with the Constitution

DA petitions Zuma to send job-killing Expropriation Bill back to Parliament

7 June 2016

The DA has petitioned President Jacob Zuma -  in terms of section 79 of the Constitution – to refer the job-killing Expropriation Bill back to Parliament. 

This follows advice from our lawyers that this Bill is unconstitutional, both in its content, but also because of the procedural irregularities which characterised its passing. 

This needs to be rectified by Parliament. Indeed, the President cannot in good conscience assent to it, until it has been brought in line with our Constitution. 

Addressing this will go a long way in preventing even further economic policy uncertainty which undermines investment, economic growth and job creation. With more than 8.9 million unemployed in South Africa, this must be a priority.

Chief among the concerns with this Bill is that the Bill in its current incarnation violates the Constitution with specific reference to the right to property and the right not to be evicted without an order of the court as distilled in sections 25 & 26(3) of the Constitution respectively.

Additionally the Bill was met with fatal procedural errors because it was not passed in a manner consistent with the Constitution and the Bill should be referred back to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) to fix these errors.

Specifically, this Bill needs to be subject to more public participation. Moreover, the errors in adhering to the requirements in the mandating and voting procedures in the Provincial Legislatures and the NCOP need to be addressed - as demanded by the Constitution. 

The DA has fought relentlessly throughout the duration of the fifth Parliament to ensure that bills that are passed are in line with the Constitution. Though we have been met with much resistance from the ANC at every turn, we will continue to do everything possible to protect the principle of constitutionalism. 

The DA remains committed to ensuring that Parliament is not used as merely a rubber-stamp by Luthuli House for poorly drafted legislation by the ANC. 

If the President is at all serious about the Constitution in general, and property rights in particular, he will not sign the Bill. 

Issued by Anchen Dreyer, DA Caucus Chairperson, 7 June 2016