Last chance to stop costly Expropriation

Laaste kans om duur onteiening te stop

Free State Agriculture (FSA) calls on all South Africans to make their submission on Parliament’s Expropriation Bill that ends this Sunday, 28 February 2021. This is the end of the written submission proses on a policy that, if promulgated as is, will have long lasting negative effects on all South Africans into the future. FSA rejects bringing into our legislation any principle whereby nil compensation can be paid for someone’s property. We believe that secure property rights are the basis for attracting investment and enabling reinvestment into ones’ own property to develop it, build it up and protect it for future generations.

Besides the macro-economic costs of the uncertainty that expropriation without compensation (EWC) ushered in just by the ANC adopting it into their manifesto, the direct costs of negotiating a price for land and having a just and equitable value determined by the courts if following in the procedures as set out in the bill, could well be more than the market value of the specified land! Hence costing more than buying land on the open market and definitely not speeding up the process of land reform.

The Institute of Race Relations (IRR) has warned that, “Launching a court challenge will not always be practically possible. Because of how the process is structured, property owners may well have to challenge the expropriation after having already lost the property and suffered indirect damages such as the possible loss of income.”

“For FSA a serious concern is who carries the costs of such court actions? If it is the farmer and he loses his farm, and he also loses all the capital put into fighting for his/her farm, there is no way that he can be in a similar position as prior to expropriation. This is a globally accepted principle when expropriating”, said Francois Wilken, President of FSA.

For a bankrupt state however, the door is opened that the Expropriation Bill seeks to amend the Constitution of South Africa in respect of the compensation payable to the owner of the property or the holder of unregistered rights, in that, in certain circumstance compensation will not be payable, i.e. EWC. The Bill, as opposed to the current Expropriation Act, does not place an obligation on an expropriating authority to pay compensation to the owner or holder. This unbridled and unaccountable power for any ruling party would be extremely dangerous to allow to an expropriating authority.

Anyone who wants to oppose the Expropriation Amendment Bill in its current form, can record their input on Free State Agriculture’s website at https://vrystaatlandbou.co.za/stop-expropriation/.  This input will still be forwarded to parliament to add to the 85 000 plus citizens who have already supported the position of Free State Agriculture, and will form part of our argument against EWC during oral submission in Parliament later this year and during the provincial public hearings.

Vrystaat Landbou (VL) doen ‘n beroep op alle Suid-Afrikaners om hul voorlegging oor die wetsontwerp op onteiening van die Parlement wat hierdie Sondag, 28 Februarie 2021, eindig in te dien. Dit is die einde van die skriftelike voorleggingsproses oor ‘n beleid wat, indien dit gepromulgeer word, langdurige negatiewe gevolge vir alle Suid-Afrikaners in die toekoms kan hê. VL verwerp dit om enige beginsel in ons wetgewing in te stel waardeur geen vergoeding vir iemand se eiendom betaal kan word nie. Ons glo dat veilige eiendomsreg die basis is om beleggings te lok en herbelegging in hul eie eiendom moontlik te maak om dit te ontwikkel, op te bou en te beskerm vir toekomstige geslagte.

Afgesien van die makro-ekonomiese koste van die onsekerheid wat onteiening sonder vergoeding (OSV) ingelui het net deurdat die ANC dit in hul manifes aanvaar, is die direkte koste om ‘n prys vir grond te onderhandel en ‘n regverdige en billike waarde deur die howe te bepaal indien dit gevolg word in die prosedures soos uiteengesit in die wetsontwerp, kan waarskynlik meer wees as die markwaarde van die spesifieke land! Dus kos dit meer as om grond op die ope mark te koop en bespoedig beslis nie die proses van grondhervorming nie.

Die Instituut vir Rasseverhoudings (IRR) het gewaarsku dat “’n hofuitdaging nie altyd prakties moontlik sal wees nie. Vanweë die manier waarop die proses gestruktureer is, sal eiendomseienaars waarskynlik onteiening moet betwis nadat hulle reeds die eiendom verloor het en indirekte skade, soos moontlike verlies aan inkomste, gely het. ”

“VL is ernstig besorg oor wie die koste van sulke hofgedinge dra? Indien dit die boer is en hy verloor sy boerdery, asook al die kapitaal wat hy /sy bestee het om vir die boerdery te veg, is daar geen manier dat hy in ‘n soortgelyke posisie kan wees as voor onteiening nie. Dit is ‘n wêreldwye aanvaarde beginsel by onteiening.”, het Francois Wilken, president van die VL, gesê.

Vir ‘n bankrot staat word die deur egter oopgemaak dat die Onteieningswetsontwerp die Grondwet van Suid-Afrika wil wysig ten opsigte van die vergoeding betaalbaar aan die eienaar van die eiendom of die houer van ongeregistreerde regte, deurdat vergoeding in sekere omstandighede nie betaalbaar sal wees nie, d.w.s. onteiening sonder vergoeding. Die wetsontwerp, in teenstelling met die huidige onteieningswet, plaas nie ‘n verpligting op ‘n onteieningsowerheid om vergoeding aan die eienaar of houer te betaal nie. Hierdie ongebreidelde en ontoerekeningsvatbare mag vir enige regerende party sou uiters gevaarlik wees om aan ‘n onteieningsgesag toe te laat.

Enigiemand wat die Wysigingswetsontwerp op Onteiening in sy huidige vorm wil opponeer, kan hul insette op Vrystaat Landbou se webwerf by https://vrystaatlandbou.co.za/stop-expropriation/ aanteken. Hierdie insette sal steeds aan die parlement deurgegee word om by te voeg tot die 85 000 burgers wat reeds die posisie van Vrystaat Landbou ondersteun het, en sal deel vorm van ons argument teen OSV tydens mondelinge voorlegging later vanjaar in die parlement en tydens die provinsiale openbare verhore.