New draft Expropriation Bill approved

Cabinet approved the draft law which will replace the outdated Expropriation Act of 1975.

FILE: Jeremy Cronin. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - Deputy Public Works Minister Jeremy Cronin says the new Expropriation Bill protects the right of people to go to court over the compensation offered them by the state.

Cabinet this week approved the draft law, which will replace the outdated Expropriation Act of 1975.

An earlier version of the bill was withdrawn in 2008 because it tried to deny people's Constitutional right to take compensation disputes to court.

Cronin says the new bill is expected to come before Parliament later this year.

Cronin says the new Expropriation Bill tries to set out a just framework to govern the process, including the right to challenge compensation disputes in the courts.

"A court challenge does not delay expropriation."

Cronin says while expropriation can proceed while a court case is pending, 80 percent of the final offer must first be paid.

"At least 80 percent of the final offer first must be paid, not left high and dry with no property while the challenge is underway."

The bill's set to come before Parliament in the next couple of months.