Cosatu backs Expropriation Bill
The trade union federation says the bill provides certainty & will end delays in land expropriation.
CAPE TOWN - The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has backed the Expropriation Bill, currently before Parliament, but said no compensation should be paid for land acquired through discriminatory colonial and apartheid laws and policies.
The trade union federation was briefing Parliament's Public Works portfolio committee on Wednesday, the second of three days of public hearings on the bill.
The committee also heard from AgriSA and the South African Property Owners Association, among other bodies.
Cosatu's Matthew Parks said the bill provides certainty, will end delays in expropriating land and prevent inflated compensation being paid.
But he said the trade union federation is opposed to compensation being paid to owners of land obtained under colonialism or apartheid.
"I shouldn't be compensated for having participated in theft, to put it crudely. It's a fundamental moral issue that we shouldn't compensate theft."
Meanwhile, AgriSA argued that farmers should be paid more than the compensation amount to make up for the emotional trauma of losing their homes and livelihoods and starting afresh.
Traditional leaders will be among those to air their views on the bill when the hearings conclude next Tuesday.
At the same time, the Centre for Constitutional Rights has criticised the bill, saying it's misleading and not in the public's interest.
The centre's legal officer Phephelaphi Dube said, "The bill is not necessarily geared to white land reforms and it's really about the expropriation of any kind of property."