POLITICAL NEWS - Following a meeting chaired by Deputy President David Mabuza, the inter-ministerial committee on land reform has finally published the 2020 Expropriation Bill, which is set to go through parliament soon.
The land reform committee consists minister of agriculture, land reform and rural development Thoko Didiza, minister of justice and correctional services Ronald Lamola, and minister of public works and infrastructure Patricia de Lille.
The Expropriation Bill which is set to ensure the implementation of land redistribution for agricultural, human settlements and industrial development purposes, was drafted by the department of public works and infrastructure to be consistent with section 25 of the Constitution.
The bill was drafted following a lengthy consultation process that included receiving about 50,000 comments from South Africans.
During a media briefing, De Lille on Sunday said the bill would be submitted to Parliament in order for the legislative process to start, after it was drafted separately from the work of parliament.
“Parliament will follow its processes to consider the bill while South Africans will also be given the opportunity to participate as parliament considers, debates and consults on the bill.”
De Lille said the bill would replace the current Expropriation Act of 1975, as it was inconsistent with the Constitution.
“Given the history of our country, government is clear that land reform is urgent and that there is a need to address the consequences of the legacy of apartheid.”
She further said that the bill clearly stated those who have the powers of expropriation, which include the president, seven ministers, all provincial premiers and all municipalities.
“What is needed is a law of general application that will ensure that any act of expropriation is in compliance with the Constitution of South Africa, 1996.”
The publishing of the bill comes after Didiza announced earlier this month that at least 896 state farms measuring 700,000 hectares would be made available to the public.
The farms are situated in the Eastern Cape, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, and North West.
Government will offer a 30-year leasehold, with an option to buy, and this form of leasehold places certain obligations to the state as the lessor and beneficiaries as the lessees.
All beneficiaries who have been allocated state land and signed lease agreements will be subjected to a compulsory training programme.