DA to table critical amendments to the Expropriation Bill in Parliament

Issued by Samantha Graham-Maré MP – DA Shadow Minister: Public Works and Infrastructure
27 Sep 2022 in News

The Speaker of the National Assembly has confirmed that the amendments proposed by the DA on the Expropriation Bill B23-2020 will be tabled before the second reading of the Bill during the Parliamentary plenary on Wednesday, 28 September 2022.

The amendments have been done in line with Rule 291 of the Parliamentary Rules which allows anyone to introduce amendments to a Bill prior to the second reading thereof. These amendments must be new and not have been the subject of debate during the processing of the Bill by the Portfolio Committee.

It is clear from the fact that this Rule exists, that the drafters of the Rules of Parliament recognised that the inputs and ideas of Members are deemed to be significant enough to allow for them to introduce amendments at the 11th hour and for such amendments to be considered.

Our amendments deal with two critical issues in the Expropriation Bill. The definition of expropriation and nil compensation. In amending the definition of Expropriation, we wish to incorporate custodianship and regulatory takings as forms of indirect expropriation. In both instances, the rights of a property owner to the use and enjoyment of a property are severely curtailed by the state and there is no duty on the state currently to pay any form of compensation.

We wish to change that.

Our second amendment removes all instances in the Expropriation Bill where nil compensation affects private property.

We believe that only state-owned property should be earmarked for nil compensation and only in 2 specific instances. Expropriation without compensation applicable to private property has the potential to wreak havoc on our economy, in our banking sector and in the agricultural sphere. Given that the amendment to the property clause in our Constitution failed to be passed by Parliament, we are of the view that the current clause dealing with nil compensation in the Expropriation Bill is now unconstitutional and should not be adopted.

We have reached out to opposition parties in Parliament to support us in tabling and adopting these amendments to the Expropriation Bill as we believe that they go a long way to provide protection to individual property owners against potential abuse by the state.

We hope that sanity prevails during the debate and that Members of Parliament choose to protect property rights by supporting our amendments as opposed to further entrenching the power of the state by adopting the Expropriation Bill in its current form.