Date of Meeting: 24 March 2015
Chairperson: Mr B Martins (ANC)
With the Minister of Public Works in attendance, the Deputy Minister gave a briefing on the Expropriation Bill (B4-2015). He said that expropriation is an essential mechanism for the state to acquire property in certain instances. Section 25 of the Constitution provides that property may be expropriated only in terms of general application and to that no law may permit arbitrary deprivation of property. The Constitution states that expropriation may occur only for a public purpose or in the public interest and subject to payment of compensation. Public interest includes the nation’s commitment to land reform, reforms to bring about equitable access to all South Africa’s natural resources and other reforms to redress the results of past racial discriminatory laws or practices. The Expropriation Act of 1975 was reviewed to ensure its consistency with Section 9, 25 and 33 of the Constitution as well as the extension of the purpose of expropriation to include public interest. Compensation in terms of the Expropriation Act 1975 was determined primarily on the market value of the expropriated property, but Section 25(3) of the Constitution requires “just and equitable” compensation be determined by having regard of all circumstances without placing undue weight on any single or particular factor. National, provincial and local government were empowered to expropriate property to varying degrees through several pieces of legislation and the Expropriation Bill seeks to ensure consistency with the Constitution and uniformity of procedure of all expropriation without interfering with the powers of expropriating authorities.
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