The Department of Public Works has officially released a Draft Policy on the Expropriation Bill [Gov Gazette No 30468 of 13 Nov 2007] for public comment.
The envisaged Expropriation Act seeks to harmonise over 100 acts and ordinances that exist in the country dealing with expropriations. The principal legislative framework for expropriation in South Africa, the Expropriation Act 63 of 1975, has three primary difficulties with the Constitution. Firstly it predates the Constitution. Its focus is on formalising existing property relations and it is not infused with the transformative intent which is at the heart of the Constitution. Secondly, the Act is not consistent with comparable modem statutes elsewhere in the world. Thirdly, and most importantly, the Act is inconsistent with the Constitution.
For these reasons, it is therefore crucial to establish a new legislative framework and to give effect to the nation's commitment to land reform as expressly provided for in the Constitution. Principles which must be complied with include:
- Expropriation must be in the public interest;
- The scope of protected rights must be expanded;
- Aligning the payment of compensation with the provisions of the Constitution; and
- Ensuring a common framework supported by minimum norms and standards.
Comments can be e-mailed to Mr Mandla Mabuza at firstname.lastname@example.org by 14 December 2007.
Draft Policy On Expropriation Bill