The government wants to withdraw the Expropriation Bill which has been stuck in Parliament for many years and to reintroduce it with provisions that will guide the process to follow in expropriating land without compensation.
In an ambitious plan announced by Public Works deputy minister Jeremy Cronin‚ the intention is to publish the redrafted bill by the end of the year – mainly to signal to the many different groups who are concerned about expropriation of land without compensation‚ the exact process government will follow in expropriating land without compensation.
The current bill‚ which was passed by Parliament in 2016‚ provides for the expropriation of land for a public purpose such as building a road or a dam‚ erecting a power line and for land reform‚ but it does not provide for expropriation without compensation but rather just and equitable compensation. It is mainly about the process and sequence that should be followed to ensure an administratively just process. Former president Jacob Zuma sent it back to Parliament on the grounds that public participation was inadequate.
On Tuesday‚ Cronin told MPs in the portfolio committee on public work that the government wanted to send a clear signal to both those that thought expropriation without compensation meant there would be white genocide and to those who were frustrated by the slow land reform process. Cronin said the government wanted to take everyone into its confidence as to what it was trying to do‚ following US President Donald Trump's tweet‚ the campaign by AfriForum and the hostility from the institute of race relations and to address “characters from the other side”.
“How do we send the signal which calms as best as possible the situation?