Institute of Race Relations (IRR) supports FF Plus standpoint on expropriation without compensation
16 January 2018
Section 25 of South Africa’s Constitution makes it very clear that property is not limited to land and therefore any changes to this section can seriously threaten all property rights in South Africa as well as severely damage the economy, says adv Anton Alberts, chairperson of the FF Plus.
According to adv Alberts, the fact that the Institute of Race Relations (IRR) shares the FF Plus’s concern about possible amendments to the section should serve as a sure warning to the public to do everything they can to prevent the ANC from making changes to the Constitution.
In a written document just released by the IRR, is states that the Institute “has taken note of the widespread confusion around the proposal adopted by the African National Congress at its recent elective conference pledging expropriation without compensation to drive land reform”. It also states:
“At present, few details exist as to how this would be achieved, beyond comments made at the conference that it would entail amending Section 25 of the Constitution.”
“Because the ‘property clause’ is so often discussed in relation to land reform and the agricultural sector, it is often mistakenly assumed that a move on property rights will be limited to farming and agricultural landholdings.”
Adv Alberts says that the property under discussion is not only limited to agricultural land, as is clearly stipulated in the Constitution. He says that the implication is frightening as it would mean that the state would be able to expropriate any property without compensation. That includes everything from your car to your house in town or your farm.
At present, the Constitution does make provision for expropriation, but then it has to be in the public interest, for a road or a dam to be built, for example, and then the compensation must be just and equitable. Without this assurance, investors will not dare to invest in South Africa as the risk will simply be too great.
“It goes without saying that pension funds can also be expropriated in this way. It is widely known that the government would like to get its hands on the Government Employee Pension Fund (GEPF).
“To understand the full extent of expropriation without compensation, one must take note of the protection currently offered by the Constitution. Take special note of the last point, 25(4)(b). It summarises the entire issue in a single sentence,” says adv Alberts.
Issued by Anton Alberts, FF Plus chairperson and parliamentary spokesperson: Economy, 16 January 2018