Expropriation Bill poses serious threat - Samantha Graham-Maré

DA MP says bill contains sections that could disenfranchise owners of all types of property

Expropriation Bill poses serious threat to property ownership rights 

3 February 2021

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has serious concerns about the Expropriation Bill that is currently before Parliament. This Bill, for which public participation has been extended to 28 February 2020, contains sections that could disenfranchise owners of all types of property in South Africa, not just landowners or farmers.

The Expropriation Bill has been a source of contention since its inception and has remained so through the many reviews and amendments through the years.

Here are some of the DA’s concerns with the Expropriation Bill:

The Bill has a list of five circumstances under which nil compensation could be paid with clear indications that the list could be extended ad infinitum at government’s will.

In its current form it offers government near unlimited powers to simply expropriate personal property – the Bill even going so far as to allude to intangible property which could include copyrighted and patented property.

The Bill lacks clear definition in a number of areas and provides very little in terms of oversight opportunity by experts to ensure fairness to ordinary South Africans. Instead, it’s weighted in favour of the ANC government which has shown time and again that given the smallest opportunity, their own greed will far outweigh the rights of citizens, while circumventing the laws meant to protect those rights.

This Expropriation Bill will clearly and severely impact property rights and cannot be entrusted in its present form to a corrupt government. The only way to protect these rights is for South Africans to voice their reservations en masse.

Worryingly, it appears as if the government is not as committed to the principle of participative democracy as it should be, despite the huge impact this Bill will have on our Constitutional right to own property if it is enacted. While the print advertisements requesting submissions on the Bill were published on 10 December 2020, social media posts only went out on 29 January 2021. And, almost two months into the public participation process, a media plan has still not been finalised.

The DA urges all South Africans to make submissions to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Public Works and Infrastructure before 28 February.

Submissions can be emailed to Ms Nola Matinise at [email protected], it can be sent on WhatsApp to 060 550 9848 and submitted via this Submission Page. A request to make oral submissions to the Portfolio Committee can also be made.

Issued by Samantha Graham-Maré, DA Shadow Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, 3 February 2021