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Members of the public must clearly understand the two legislative processes currently at play to try to establish a principal that land could be expropriated for nil compensation; namely the Expropriation Bill process and the Draft Constitution 18th Amendment Bill process, to allow for nil compensation. Free State Agriculture (FSA) urges not just farm land owners, but all property owners, to make use of the extended time period for comments on the Expropriation Bill.
According to FSA it is far easier to accept the principle of expropriation without compensation through the legislative process that only requires a 50% majority in Parliament, whereas a Chapter 2 Constitutional amendment requires the support of two-thirds of Parliament. Hence the importance to stop the Expropriating Bill in its current form.
Free State Agriculture is opposed to expropriation without compensation. The organisation views the introduction of expropriation without compensation as a political and electioneering tool and not as a just and equitable mechanism to increase and strengthen property rights for all South Africans. By the current track record previously disadvantaged individuals will not own land, but government will only increase its own land ownership.
Currently, the state owns 5 300 farms in South Africa. FSA is of the opinion that the new clause among others proposing the circumstances in which land expropriation without compensation could be justified “in the public interest” be totally removed from the Expropriation Bill as well as any reference to nil compensation, as this ultimately will not be in the best interest of the country in the long term.
The FSA online petition gives members of the public more background information and the FSA action plan to oppose certain unacceptable provisions of the current Bill can be found on https://vrystaatlandbou.co.za/stop-expropriation/. Written submissions can now be made until 28 February 2021, where after FSA will guide it’s members to take part in the public hearings to follow.