NATIONAL NEWS - TLU SA officially handed in its comment against the amendment of the existing Expropriation Bill (Act 63 of 1975) this week. The deadline for comment was extended from 10 February to 28 February.
TLU SA proposes that the bill should be rewritten to provide only for the expropriation of property when it is needed for infrastructure development, and then at market prices.
“This is probably the most short-sighted piece of legislation that could be brought to the table,” says Henry Geldenhuys, president of TLU SA. “It cancels out any possibility of getting the country’s economy back on track. The government should respect market forces and private property rights as the foundation and starting point for economic growth.”
Geldenhuys says the vague wording of the amendment opens the gate for the government to expropriate any property under the guise of public interest without compensation.
“The state must have the power to expropriate for infrastructure development, and legislation should provide for this, in other words, expropriation for a public purpose. The existing legal owner should be fairly compensated, which actually means that the owner should be able to recreate their business in a different location.
"When the description of public interest is as wide and vague as in this proposed amendment, pensions, homes and investments will also be up for the taking without any compensation.
“For the economy to have any chance at recovery, the country urgently needs foreign investment. But no investor of sound mind will consider investing in a country where property can be expropriated left, right and centre.
"We want to make it clear that as the bill currently stands, the possible application thereof would be catastrophic for the future of our country and its citizens.”
The public has until the end of the month to comment on the proposed amendments to the Expropriation Bill. TLU SA created a platform where South Africans can add their comment. These comments will also form part of TLU SA’s verbal presentation to the parliament.
“It is of the utmost importance that the public show their opposition by taking part in the process of commenting,” Geldenhuys says. “The Expropriation Bill is only the start.”
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