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Thread: The expropriation bill

  1. #1
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    The expropriation bill

    Parliament to pass Expropriation Bill

    11 March 2008

    An expropriation Bill, which will give powers to government to expropriate land from farmers, will be passed in Parliament in June.

    This is according to the Minister of Agriculture and Land Affairs, Ms Lulu Xingwana during the National Council of Provinces sitting in the North West today.

    During the meeting with farmers and farms, members of the National Council of Provinces heard concerns from farmers and farm workers.

    Ms Lulu Xingwana said that the expropriation would be in the public interest. She however insisted that people who did not utilise the land properly would have the land taken away from them.

    Most people, who wanted to know about land claims, were told that land claims submitted before December 1998 would not be processed as the cut off date passed.

    MEC for Agriculture in the North West Jan Serfontein said that government was buying a lot of farms to be used by emerging farmers.

    However, emerging farmers were concerned that they were not given enough training to run their farms and thus fell short when doing their work.

    He said that government was not only buying the land but would ensure that the land was administered. Farm workers also said that they felt they were being threatened by farmers.

    Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) select committee on Agriculture and Land Affairs, Reverend Peter Moatshe, said that the committee believed that the farmers must be helped because there must be food security. They have to be helped with skills and administration in order for them to become successful, he said.

    He added that the matter of farm workers had to be looked at seriously as agriculture was a challenging responsibility.

    The National Council of Provinces is currently holding its Taking Parliament to the People in Ikageng, Potchefstroom.

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    Last edited by Dave A; 13-Mar-08 at 07:21 PM.

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    I thought that a reproduction of the property section of the bill of rights of the Constitution might be suitable here,

    25. Property

    1. No one may be deprived of property except in terms of law of general application, and no law may permit arbitrary deprivation of property.

    2. Property may be expropriated only in terms of law of general application *
    1. for a public purpose or in the public interest; and
    2. subject to compensation, the amount of which and the time and manner of payment of which have either been agreed to by those affected or decided or approved by a court.

    3. The amount of the compensation and the time and manner of payment must be just and equitable, reflecting an equitable balance between the public interest and the interests of those affected, having regard to all relevant circumstances, including *
    1. the current use of the property;
    2. the history of the acquisition and use of the property;
    3. the market value of the property;
    4. the extent of direct state investment and subsidy in the acquisition and beneficial capital improvement of the property; and
    5. the purpose of the expropriation.

    4. For the purposes of this section *
    1. the public interest includes the nation's commitment to land reform, and to reforms to bring about equitable access to all South Africa's natural resources; and
    2. property is not limited to land.

    5. The state must take reasonable legislative and other measures, within its available resources, to foster conditions which enable citizens to gain access to land on an equitable basis.

    6. A person or community whose tenure of land is legally insecure as a result of past racially discriminatory laws or practices is entitled, to the extent provided by an Act of Parliament, either to tenure which is legally secure or to comparable redress.

    7. A person or community dispossessed of property after 19 June 1913 as a result of past racially discriminatory laws or practices is entitled, to the extent provided by an Act of Parliament, either to restitution of that property or to equitable redress.

    8. No provision of this section may impede the state from taking legislative and other measures to achieve land, water and related reform, in order to redress the results of past racial discrimination, provided that any departure from the provisions of this section is in accordance with the provisions of section 36(1).

    9. Parliament must enact the legislation referred to in subsection (6).
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Subsection (6) was dealt with by the Establishment of Security of Tenure Act (ESTA). No particular problems there.

    The trouble with the bill of rights is based on track record it will be changed if it doesn't suit. That's how we ended up with "fair" racial discrimination.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Administrator I Robot's Avatar
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    T Didiza to brief media on new Expropriation Act

    Minister of Public Works, Thoko Didiza briefs the Portfolio Committee on the new Expropriation Act

    26 March 2008

    Cape Town: Today the National Minister of Public Works, Ms Thoko Didiza, presented the proposed new Expropriation Bill to the Public Works Portfolio Committee, marking the beginning of a formal process by Parliament to adopt the new Bill for the purposes of discussions, consultative engagements and consolidation before it is passed into law.

    The new Bill will replace the Expropriation Act of 1975 which still applies. The 1975 Act is inconsistent with the current Constitution of South Africa in several key areas such as recognition of rights of tenants and farm workers; the basis for payment of compensation and the rationale for expropriation. The Bill seeks to align the Expropriation Act with the Constitution and to provide a common framework to guide the processes and procedures for expropriation of property by organs of state, by providing for, among others, the following:

    (1) The extension of the purposes for which property may be expropriated to include expropriations in the public interest. Expropriation in the public interest, for instance, provides government with a tool to achieve its commitment to land reform, and to reforms to bring about equitable access to all South Africa’s natural resources

    (2) All affected parties to be notified of a contemplated expropriation, to afford such parties an opportunity to raise objections and make representations to the expropriating authority, before a decision to expropriate is taken. The expropriating authority must give consideration to all submissions and must attempt to reach an agreement with persons whose rights and interests may be adversely affected, before deciding to expropriate

    (3) The expansion of the scope of protected rights to provide for compensation for both registered and unregistered rights. In terms of the 1975 Expropriation Act, only the holders of registered rights and certain unregistered rights are eligible for compensation upon expropriation. Section 25 of the Constitution, however, does not distinguish between registered rights and unregistered rights such as tenants and farm dwellers.

    (4) The payment of just and equitable compensation to persons affected by expropriations, with such compensation reflecting an equitable balance between the public interest and the interests of those affected. Whilst the market value of expropriated property is a predominant factor in the 1975 Expropriation Act, the Constitution requires consideration of all relevant factors, including:
    * the current use of the property
    * the history of the acquisition and use of the property
    * the market value of the property
    * the extent of direct state investment and subsidy in the acquisition and beneficial capital improvement of the property and
    * the purpose of the expropriation.

    (5) Expropriating authorities and affected parties to exchange technical reports and other relevant information, in endeavouring to reach agreement on compensation. In the absence of agreement, the expropriating authority shall make a determination on compensation. In the event that the expropriated owner or holder of a right does not accept such determination, he or she may approach the court for a judicial review of the process followed by the expropriating authority in making such determination. Should either party not accept the ruling of the court, it would have the right to appeal.

    (6) The establishment of the Expropriation Advisory Board to advise all expropriating authorities on all aspects of expropriation, including the determination of compensation. The Board will also render advice to organs of state on the fair value of immovable property when the state acquires property other than through expropriation, or disposes thereof. The Bill proposes that the minister be empowered to establish as many such Boards, as may be necessary in different geographical areas, to ensure effective and efficient services to all expropriating authorities and organs of state.

    Whereas the 1975 Act narrowly focused on the market value as the sole determinant for the negotiations preceding expropriation, the proposed new Bill, in line with the Constitution, takes a holistic view and considers other relevant factors such as the current use of the property, the history of the acquisition, the extent of the direct state involvement and subsidy in the acquisition and beneficial capital improvement of the property, among others. The above is contrary to the paranoia raised by certain sectors of organised farming that government seeks to downplay market value in the expropriation negotiations.

    Of importance, is the fact that the Bill would also promote the tenets of good governance and administration by consolidating current disparate pieces of legislation and processes of expropriation (about 140 of them) across all spheres of government including parastatals, ensuring that the power to expropriate would be applied uniformly, constantly and free from haphazard decisions which might infringe constitutional rights and freedoms.

    The Bill has been passed by Cabinet hence today’s briefing of the Portfolio Committee by the Minister. In preparation, the Department of Public Works had convened two separate workshops in February 2008 to canvass comments and other views on the draft policy document issued in November 2007. Both the organs of the state and the private sector including the farmers’ organisations were on separate occasions given an opportunity to engage with the document.

    Following today’s briefing of the Portfolio Committee by the Minister of Public Works, Parliament is expected to spearhead parliamentary and public discussions on the proposed Bill and to that end, Parliament has adopted a scheduled timeframe for national consultations which will be taken to all the provinces.

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    Last edited by Dave A; 26-Mar-08 at 05:21 PM.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    The more I read about this bill, the uneasier I get.

    Expropriation was originally intended to facilitate procuring land for roads and utilities. It is becoming increasingly clear that the goal here is to facilitate social redistribution that reaches beyond the Constitution's line of 1913.

    Somewhere in tracking this issue, I've missed one statement that likened the intended action to the taking of The Cape by Jan Van Riebeek. That might seem fair enough, but it pretty much dates the mindset. The world has moved on in considering what is reasonable since those days. In fact, the concept of individual rights was a pretty foreign concept back then.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    It should surprise no-one that the FF+ is opposed to the Expropriation Bill.
    The draft Expropriation Bill will undermine property rights and could scare off foreign investors, the Freedom Front Plus (FF+) said on Thursday.

    The proposed Bill, tabled on Wednesday, also goes against United Nations guidelines on eliminating racial discrimination, said party leader Pieter Mulder in a statement.

    The UN guidelines, which also refer to forced removals, prohibit the permanent or temporary removal, against their will, of people from land they occupied without provision of, and access to, appropriate forms of legal or other protection.

    South Africa is one of 160 countries that are party to and have ratified these guidelines.

    "The FF+ foresees that the consequences of the proposed legislation will be totally different to that which the ANC intends it for," said Mulder, adding that the party will raise these objections, as well as make use of the Constitution, to oppose the Bill.
    full story from M&G here
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Administrator I Robot's Avatar
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    Parliament to hold hearings on Expropriation Bill, 9 to 12 Jun

    Parliament welcomes inputs on Expropriation Bill

    The Portfolio Committee on Public Works has commended the inputs by communities and farmers in the North West and Northern Cape provinces on the Expropriation Bill, describing them as not only helpful but constructive as well.

    Among the proposals made by the communities is that a new clause which will deal with mineral rights be included in the proposed legislation. The communities indicated that in Kuruman a community which had acquired land through the restitution programme was later removed from the land when it was discovered that the mineral rights on the property were held by a private individual.

    The committee welcomed the suggestions, and undertook to look at the possibility of including movable property for inclusion in an expropriation as well.

    A number of farmers supported the Bill with provisions that proper guidelines be put in place before the Bill becomes law, arguing that expropriation could be a controversial matter.

    The farmers added that the socio-economic impact that the Bill would have in South Africa was welcome. Farm dwellers stated that they were happy that as holders of unregistered rights, they would also be compensated should property that they reside in be expropriated.

    The sticking point for farmers in the North West province was Chapter 6 of the Bill which deals with compensation. They said although they were supportive of the Bill, however, they would prefer compensation for their land to be based on market value.

    Meanwhile, the Committee has condemned the act of farmers affiliated to Agri-North West who had refused to observe and sing the national anthem during public hearings on the Bill in Ventersdorp, opting instead to be disruptive and sing the old apartheid anthem, "Die Stem".

    Chairperson of the committee, Ms Thandi Tobias-Pokolo described the act by the farmers as being disrespectful to the Constitution of South Africa, the government as well Parliament as the highest Institution in South Africa.

    This week the Committee will hold public hearings on the Bill in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) provinces.

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    Last edited by Dave A; 10-Jun-08 at 07:42 PM.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    I am now really peeved I can't find the statement issued that the expropriation bill could not be used for restitution because it was within public works. I'm damn sure it was a government feed.

    What does public works have to do with restitution? That would be land affairs, surely.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    The Southern African Development Community (SADC) tribunal ruling that fair compensation be paid to Zimbabwean farmers evicted from their farms holds implications for South Africa, organised agriculture said on Tuesday.

    Ernst Janovsky, Absa agribusiness general manager, told the Mail & Guardian Online: "It puts a whole new spin on the Expropriation Bill. There must be fair compensation for land now.

    "We'll probably see farmers starting to invest again because they now know they will be guaranteed fair compensation for their land."

    Denied access to Zimbabwe's courts, 77 farmers evicted under Zimbabwe's land-reform programme instead turned to the SADC tribunal.

    It found that the violation of their right to court access breached the SADC treaty. It instructed the Zimbabwean government to protect them, prevent their eviction and make sure their operations were not hampered.

    It also ordered the government to fully compensate those farmers whose land had already been taken from them.

    The Zimbabwean government rejected the ruling and said it would not reverse the land-reform exercise.
    full story from M&G here
    The presence of land claims has definitely been a major stumbling block when it comes to developing those properties under claim. However, I wonder if Ernst will put ABSA's money where his mouth is and finance those farmers' investment.

    That Zimbabwe rejected the ruling is no surprise, of course.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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