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DA to fight Expropriation Bill and defend property rights

The Democratic Alliance (DA) intends to challenge any attempts by the ANC to bulldoze the Expropriation Bill through parliament. It says the ANC is risking the property rights of millions of South Africans purely for cheap political gain.

The party says the Bill passed through the National Council of Provinces on Tuesday is a desperate attempt to cobble up votes before the national and provincial elections in May 2024.

RISKING PROPERTY RIGHTS OF MILLIONS – SAYS DA

“The DA has raised the alarm on this Bill many times before. The ANC is risking the property rights of millions of South Africans purely for cheap political gain,” the DA said.

“Besides being clearly inconsistent with section 25 of the Constitution, which provides that property can only be expropriated “subject to compensation,” the process followed in guiding the Bill through the NCOP committee was plagued by irregularities and an alarming level of disinterest in ANC-governed provinces to comply with proper parliamentary procedure,” it said.

The DA accused the ANC of using “fancy footwork” to sneak a provision into the Bill allowing expropriation without compensation.

‘PROVISION ALLOWS FOR DELAY IN COMPENSSATION’

“It is patently obvious to anyone who reads this bill that this is nothing more than expropriation without compensation in disguise,” said DA MPs Sello Seitlholo and Tim Brauteseth.

They said the Bill further gives the Minister of Public Works the power to expropriate property in the public interest or for a public purpose. This clause needs to be more specific, with no definition of what this may entail.

“Equally as destructive is the provision which dictates that any delay in payment of compensation to the expropriated owner will not prevent the passing of the right to possession to the government,” the two MPs said in a statement.

EXPROPRIATION BILL MUST BE REFERRED BACKTO PARLIAMENT – DA

“What this means is that even where a fee may be agreed upon, it may result in de facto nil compensation, where payment can be delayed for years, while the property has already been expropriated,” they wrote.

The DA said it would instruct its attorneys to immediately send a letter of demand to the President to demand that he refer the Expropriation Bill back to the National Assembly for reconsideration of its constitutionality.

“In terms of the Constitution, the President must refer a Bill back to the NA where constitutional concerns exist.”

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