Government published a draft Expropriation Bill for public comment on Friday 21 December 2018. We have until 19 February 2019 to comment on it. Follow this link to add your comments https://dearsouthafrica.co.za/expropriation-bill/
For a full executive summary of the Bill, please visit our website at www.miltons.law.za
Very shortly, the Bill addresses expropriation with compensation, and without compensation.
Property may also only be expropriated if this is for a “public purpose” or in the “public interest”, and these terms are then defined. The Bill sets out what procedure an expropriating authority must follow before it can firstly decide whether to expropriate, and for how much, if anything. The Bill also caters for the manner in which compensation will be payable, if anything.
- The bad news is that it does not limit the nature of land which may in principle be expropriated and all land is therefore potentially, (in theory) subject to expropriation, including residential land.
- The good news however (as far as residential land is concerned) is it does seem that Government will only be interested in land which is abandoned or owned “solely for speculative” purposes but it fails to define what exactly “speculative purposes” is intended to include! If this therefore becomes law in its present format, many mountains remain in Government’s path when (not even “if!”) this is challenged in the Constitutional Court.
- The other good news is that it also confirms that no decision to expropriate (save for urgent circumstances due to disaster management needs) may be enforced, without a court order, and anyone affected by an expropriation decision may challenge it in court. Hence the interests of both property owners and the holders of rights (such as bond holders and tenants, or even possibly a former spouse who stands to take transfer by virtue of a divorce settlement agreement), are catered for and protected.
We urge all recipients of this Newsflash to share it; to read the Bill, and to participate in the commentary procedure!
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