n Without Prejudice - Inappropriate expropriation : property law

Volume 13, Issue 8
  • ISSN : 1681-178X



While expropriation may be necessary to achieve land reform, new laws aimed at facilitating and fast-tracking the process pose a threat to landowners and unsuspecting property right holders. The Expropriation Act (63 of 1975) empowers state institutions to expropriate property, subject to the requirements set out in s12. To most landowners, expropriation is a topic of contention, viewed as unattractive and undesirable. The perhaps unpalatable truth, however, is that expropriation is necessary in certain instances to redress historical wrongs and thus remains a justifiable limitation on ownership in terms of the Constitution. It condones expropriation that takes place within the framework of public purpose and public interest, an element of which must always include just and equitable compensation. In the search for an equitable balance between the Act and the Constitution, the controversial Expropriation Bill 2013 has recently been introduced for debate. Its purpose is to replace the Act and to provide organs of state with a constitutionally-sound framework within which to exercise their newly-acquired powers.

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