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Expropriation Bill forging ahead, FSA questions governments intent

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Free State Agriculture (FSA) has warned that the adoption of the New Expropriation Bill will pave the way for government overreach and corruption on a scale not yet seen in South Africa.

Citizens should ask themselves: What does this government intend to do with the power to expropriate any asset, without compensation?

According to the President of FSA, Francois Wilken, the parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Public Works and Infrastructure on 7 September forged ahead to approve the Expropriation Bill without careful consideration of public input.

“This Bill, that will now be presented to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) and to Parliament, has far reaching consequences for every citizen. FSA’s main concern is that the bill will allow for, and vest the power of, expropriation without compensation of any asset in the hands of government and its civil servants. The Bill will furthermore place the burden on the owner to defend his or her rights at their own expense”.

The Expropriation Bill is a stealthy attempt to achieve a de-facto amendment of section 25 of the Constitution, something government failed to do during 2021. The only difference is that the ANC now only needs a simple majority to pass this bill.

FSA mobilised over 120 000 inputs against this bill, notwithstanding the hundreds of thousands of inputs from other organisations and members of the public. “It is now clear to us that government has ignored these inputs.  None of the concerns raised by organized agriculture, opposition parties and civil society has been reflected in the problematic sections of the Expropriation Bill.

“FSA will support any action aimed at declaring the specific clauses which we are concerned about that remain in the Bill, as unconstitutional”, Wilken said.