Expropriation Bill closer to becoming law

Some MPs are unhappy and say the definitions are too broad, which can deter investment.

The Parliament of South Africa. Picture: Aletta Harrison/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Expropriation Bill is a step closer to becoming law.

The Bill, which provides for property to be expropriated in the public interest, as well as for public purpose, has been adopted by Parliament's Public Works Portfolio Committee.

The government says the Bill will provide a coherent way to manage expropriation and will speed up land reform.

But critics say its definitions are too broad and that this could deter investment, economic growth and jobs.

The African National Congress (ANC)'s six MPs voted in favour; the Democratic Alliance and the United Democratic Movement (UDM) were opposed.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), which Broadly Backs The Bill but is opposed to any compensation being paid for expropriation, was not present at today's meeting.

DA MP Anchen Dreyer says the Bill does not define property except to say it's not limited to land.

"That is not acceptable to us. It is very broad and it creates a great deal of uncertainty. It's so wide open you can drive a cart and horses through it."

The UDM's Mncedisi Filtane says the Bill is unconstitutional because it prevents land acquired before 1913 from being expropriated.

Filtane says this is discriminatory.