IRR calls on NCOP to reject the Expropriation Bill and fulfil its role as upper house
8 February 2023
The Institute of Race Relations (IRR) has called on the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), in particular its Select Committee on Transport, Public Service and Administration, Public Works and Infrastructure, to reject the Expropriation Bill, which was adopted by the National Assembly in September 2022.
The NCOP is the upper house of Parliament, and the National Assembly the lower. Both houses must approve legislation before it can become law. The National Assembly failed to heed numerous and sustained warnings from civil society regarding the dangers represented by the Bill.
Since 2008 when the Expropriation Bill was first mooted, the IRR has warned of the risks to property rights, and thus the prosperity built upon property rights, that would result should the Bill be adopted. The Bill remains dangerous today, despite repeated revisions over 15 years.
Among other things, the Bill makes it significantly easier for government to expropriate property, and more difficult for property owners – whether farmers, businesspeople, or homeowners – to protect themselves against expropriation. Most contentiously, the Bill makes provision for so-called ‘expropriation without compensation’, an unconstitutional phenomenon incompatible with human flourishing.