The Expropriation Bill could lead to more land invasions
25 February 2021
The Expropriation Bill has the potential to lead to further possible land invasion should it be enacted.
While some of the issues in the Bill are glaringly problematic, some are more nuanced. Perhaps the most controversial clause, however, is not only overtly concerning, but the unintended consequences if it remains in the Bill, could be catastrophic.
Section 12(3)(c) provides that nil compensation may be paid, irrespective of whether or not the owner has title deeds to the property, “where an owner has abandoned the land by failing to exercise control over it”. There is no definition of the exercise of control, and there is no clarity around how the exercise of control would be determined. Merely that the lack of control would be sufficient to result in expropriation without compensation.
With the potential adoption of the Expropriation Bill in this current form, land invasions could very easily become the means by which expropriation without compensation can be forced. Once a property has been invaded, it is for all intents and purposes, no longer under the control of the owner. Cue Section 12(3)(c) of the Expropriation Bill and expropriation without compensation.