Sentiment against expropriation at public hearings

In an unexpected turn of events, support for the Expropriation Bill in the Free State seems to have substantially diminished. Public hearings were held from 26-29 August, across the Free State to afford communities the opportunity to participate in the Expropriation Bill legislative process. The results of these meetings were quite different to the expectations of the proponents of the Expropriation Bill.

According to Free State Agriculture (FSA) president, Mr Francois Wilken, the organisation’s representatives made their formal objections to the proposed Expropriation Bill at these public hearings. “We called on all who believe in freedom, the free market and the protection and expansion of individual private property rights, to stand together to oppose the Bill in its current form” said Wilken referring to the FSA campaign website: https://vrystaatlandbou.co.za/stop-expropriation/.

The hearings were held in Botshabelo, Welkom, Bethlehem and Frankfort. At the Botshabelo hearings where input was made by FSA’s Gernie Botha and attended by regional representative Christo Doman, the majority, including traditional leaders, rejected the Bill on the grounds of opposing expropriation without compensation.

At the Frankfort hearing, Tommie Esterhuyse, Vice-president of FSA argued that the Bill will be economic suicide dispossessing current and future landowners of their ownership rights. Further points were raised that included the wide definitions of “Pubic interest” and “Expropriation”. Esterhuyse was supported by regional representatives Koot Naude (Ngwathe) and Deon van der Watt (Mafube).

FSA representatives highlighted that the Expropriation Bill focussed on all property (not only land) which could be taken from you without compensation. Access to courts was also emphasized as a non-negotiable.

“It seems as if the public is increasingly aware of the dangers of giving the state a blank check for expropriation. The fact is that this Bill will allow government and its bureaucrats to bully, intimidate and steal assets from law abiding citizens. In this regard, history has taught us that it is the poor and marginalised who are easy targets for corrupt governments”, said Wilken.

Sentiment teen onteiening tydens openbare verhore

In ‘n onverwagse wending blyk dit dat die steun vir die onteieningswetsontwerp in die Vrystaat aansienlik verminder het. Openbare verhore is gedurende 26-29 Augustus regoor die Vrystaat gehou, om gemeenskappe die geleentheid te bied om aan die wetgewing oor die onteieningswetsontwerp deel te neem. Die resultaat van hierdie vergaderings het  voorstanders van die onteieningswetsontwerp verras.

Volgens Vrystaat Landbou (VL) president, Francois Wilken, het die organisasie se verteenwoordigers hul formele besware teen die voorgestelde onteieningswetsontwerp tydens hierdie openbare verhore gemaak. “Ons het ‘n beroep op almal gedoen wat glo in vryheid, die vrye mark en die beskerming en uitbreiding van individuele privaat eiendomsreg, om saam te staan om die wetsontwerp in sy huidige vorm teë te staan,” sê Wilken met verwysing na die VL-veldtogwebwerf https://vrystaatlandbou.co.za/stop-onteiening/

Die verhore is in Botshabelo, Welkom, Bethlehem en Frankfort gehou. Tydens die verhore in Botshabelo waar insette deur Gernie Botha van die VL gelewer is en bygewoon deur die streekverteenwoordiger, Christo Doman, verwerp die meerderheid, insluitend tradisionele leiers, die wetsontwerp op grond van die opposisie teen onteiening sonder vergoeding.

Tydens Frankfort-verhoor het Tommie Esterhuyse, vise-president van die VL, aangevoer dat die wetsontwerp ekonomiese selfmoord sal wees wat huidige en toekomstige grondeienaars van hul eiendomsreg sal ontneem. Verdere punte is na vore gebring wat die wye definisies van “openbare belang” en “onteiening” insluit. Esterhuyse is ondersteun deur streekverteenwoordigers Koot Naude (Ngwathe) en Deon van der Watt (Mafube).

VL-verteenwoordigers het beklemtoon dat die onteieningswetsontwerp fokus op alle eiendom (nie net grond nie) wat sonder vergoeding geneem kan word. Toegang tot howe is ook beklemtoon as ‘n ononderhandelbare saak.

“Dit wil voorkom asof die publiek toenemend bewus is van die gevaar daarin om die staat ‘n blanko tjek vir onteiening te gee. Die feit is dat hierdie wetsontwerp die regering en sy burokrate sal toelaat om te boelie, intimideer en bates van wetsgehoorsame burgers te steel. In hierdie verband het die geskiedenis ons geleer dat dit armes en gemarginaliseerdes is wat maklike teikens vir korrupte regerings is”, het Wilken gesê.