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Proposed expropriation bill allows South African gov. to take land, assets without paying compensation

SOUTH AFRICA – The South African government drafted an expropriation bill that allows them to take people’s property and pay nothing in compensation.

If passed, the bill would replace the current Expropriation Act of 1975. A parliamentary ad-hoc committee is currently drafting the proposed bill, which fortifies the powers of the state. The committee is expected to finish the draft by the end of March 2021.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has made land expropriation a priority he says to achieve a more equitable society. This concerns South Africans worried about the future of their property rights and assets.

Legal expert Dr. Anthea Jeffery from think-tank Institute for Race Relations (IRR) says the bill will allow the state to seize assets, including homes and land. The bill, if passed, moves South Africa to a system where property is leased from the state.

The National Assembly needs to pass the bill by a two-thirds majority. Then it has to go to the National Council of Provinces, where it needs the votes of six out of nine provinces.

The bill, once enacted, will allow for nil compensation on the expropriation of land.

Critics say the bill slowly takes South Africa from a free market economy to a socialist society where the government has majority ownership and control over all key assets.

Once the laws are enacted they will also allow more than just land to be brought under state ownership or control.

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