Zuma sends Expropriation Bill back to Parliament

The president has also appealed to land claimants not to opt for financial compensation rather than land.

Picture: SAPS

CAPE TOWN – President Jacob Zuma has sent the Expropriation Bill back to Parliament.

The president made the announcement on Thursday night during his State of the Nation Address in Cape Town.

The long-delayed bill was passed last year.

It provides for land to be expropriated, not only for common purpose for the extension of roads or power lines, for example, but also in the public interest, to speed up land reform.

Zuma has also appealed to land claimants not to opt for financial compensation rather than land, saying this undermines transformation.

The president says the bill may not pass constitutional muster because of inadequate public consultation.

The bill provides for compensation to be determined against a range of criteria and not only market value.

“It will be difficult, if not impossible, to achieve true reconciliation, until the land question is solved.”

Zuma says it was a mistake to allow land claimants to choose money as settlements.

“Over 90% of claims are currently settled through financial compensation which does not help the process at all. It perpetuates dispossession. It also undermines economic empowerment.”

Zuma says less than 10% of South Africa’s 82 million hectares of arable land has so far been transferred to black people, while there’s been a nearly 20% drop in the number of households involved in farming over the past five years.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)