ANC MPs cheer as new Land Expropriation Bill sails through Parliament

By Jenni Evans

Cape Town – The expropriation bill, which sets out the new ways that the government can take land with compensation, was passed with a massive majority in the National Assembly on Thursday.

land_reform_SA_farmingThe vote was 208 in favour and just seven against. There were no abstentions.

”The bill will accordingly be sent to the president for assent,” said House Chairperson Cedric Frolick while ANC MPs cheered.

The benches of the DA, which objected to the bill in its current form, were almost empty when the votes were electronically counted.

The bill was put to the vote after the public works portfolio committee secured agreement on some final touches.

Among them was that a municipality had to tell the expropriating authority within 30 days, instead of 20, if there were any rates due on the targeted property.

The DA had indicated it was not opposed to expropriation for compensation, but it was concerned that assets that could be expropriated were not defined clearly enough and could include pension funds and animals. It also did not guarantee that compensation would cover any outstanding bank loans for the property.

Read also: Anthea Jeffery: Land Bill rammed through without Proper Process

The United Democratic Movement wanted the cut-off date for expropriation to be shifted further back than the current date of 1913, and to cover hundreds of years of land dispossession.

The ACDP’s position was that it was not correct for the state to seize property without a court order, and that expropriation without legal protection would leave the agricultural sector vulnerable to abuse.

EFF MPs were not present, but the party does not support expropriation with compensation.

The bill sets out the step-by-step process to be followed for expropriating property, including the rights and responsibilities of the person whose property is targeted.  – News24