Expropriation Bill now adopted by Parly's committee

ANC MPS backed the bill, the IFP abstained from voting and the DA and UDM opposed it.

Picture: Aletta Harrison/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Parliament's Public Works Committee has adopted the controversial Expropriation Bill amid strong objections from opposition parties.

African National Congress (ANC) Members of Parliament (MPs) backed the bill, the Inkatha Freedom Party abstained from voting and the Democratic Alliance (DA) and United Democratic Movement (UDM) opposed it.

The bill now has to be approved by the National Assembly and must then go before the National Council of Provinces before it can be signed into law.

If passed, it will allow for expropriation of any property - not only land - with compensation decided against a range of factors, and not only market value.

Committee chairperson Ben Martins says while the majority party's MPs supported the bill, opposition parties' opposing views will be reported to the National Assembly, when the bill comes up for debate.

"In regard to the Expropriation Bill we have traversed down this road as far as we can. The next time we meet is in plenary when there will be more than fireworks in regard to this bill, I am sure."

Both the DA and the UDM believe the bill is at odds with the Constitution when it comes to the definitions of "property" and "expropriation".

The DA's Anchen Dreyer says the definition of property is too broad and could apply not only to land but also to intangible assets including contractual and intellectual property rights.