Zuma requests clarity on process of passing Expropriation Bill

Jacob Zuma received petitions urging him not to sign the bill as proper procedure wasn’t followed.

FILE: President Jacob Zuma. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - President Jacob Zuma says he wants clarity on the process followed by Parliament in passing the Expropriation Bill before he signs it into law.

While criticised by some opposition parties, the bill's passing was hailed by the African National Congress as marking the start of a new phase of accelerated land reform.

The Presidency says Zuma received petitions from a number of organisations and individuals urging him not to assent to the bill on the grounds that proper procedure wasn't followed.

Zuma's now asked National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete and National Council of Provinces chairperson Thandi Modise to advise him on the matter.

The Democratic Alliance is one of the organisations that has petitioned President Zuma not to sign the Expropriation Bill.

The party's Anchen Dreyer says it should be referred back to Parliament.

"Especially in the NCOP, they didn't follow due process and there wasn't proper public consultation - but secondly also with the content of the bill itself and the right of people to property, that they shouldn't have to vacate their properties until they've actually been paid (compensation) - that is the basis of our concern."

The bill is intended to replace the Expropriation Act of 1975, which is not in line with the Constitution.

It provides for property to be expropriated for public purpose, such as the widening of a road, and also in the public interest - as in speeding up the redistribution of land to those dispossessed under colonialism and apartheid.