Concerns raised over scope of land expropriation

Parliament has adopted an EFF motion supported by the ANC that land can be expropriated without compensation.

Picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - Concerns are mounting that land expropriation without compensation could stretch further than farms, including residential and intellectual property as well as stock and bonds.

Parliament has adopted an Economic Freedom Fighters’ motion supported by the African National Congress that land can be expropriated without compensation.

However, President Cyril Ramaphosa has assured the country that this will not be done in a manner that will compromise food security and the economy.

Former SA property owner's association CEO Brian Kirchmann says that in the 1990s he negotiated with then-president Thabo Mbeki for over a year, on the importance of narrowing down the Land Reform Act to exclude private property.

“We saw the value of saying you’ve got to have some sort of fair compensation for property because we said then if you have an autocratic government coming into being, they could then grab all types of property."

Prof Ruth Hall of the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies agrees, saying the framing of property in the Constitution is too vague.

“I think that a lot of people have the perception that it provides a blanket protection of private property, and it does not do that.”

There are also concerns that with not much clarity, the uncertainty affects investment in the property sector.