Speech on the Expropriation Bill [B23D - 2020]
Speech by ACDP MP, Steve Swart

Issued by the ACDP Parliamentary Media Office

We must protect property rights, says ACDP

Mar 27, 2024

House Chair

The ACDP notes the amendments that were made and wishes to state that it objected to the report of the committee in that committee.

Now, it must be remembered that an attempt was made by the majority party to amend section 25 of the Constitution to provide for expropriation without compensation and that the ACDP, along with most other opposition parties voted against the proposed amendment as we believed it was not necessary.

Furthermore, we believed that amending section 25 to provide for nil compensation would cause capital flight, impeding foreign and domestic investment.

It is the view of the ACDP, and many other South Africans, that this Bill is yet another attempt to provide for expropriation without compensation, particularly when one considers sections 12.3 (a), (c) and (d), which targets private property.

We note that 12.3 (e) deals with property considered to be a health risk, and this was omitted as an amendment from the NCOP.

These sections allow for nil compensation on expropriation.

The ACDP cautions as it did with the attempt to amend section 25 of the Constitution, whilst acknowledging the need for reformation and restitution on the land issue question, that expropriation without compensation is not the panacea. Property rights, in our view, must be protected because a failure to do so destroys the value of such property. As in any business, if a product loses its value, it becomes non-tradable and business will move to places where they can trade.

The ACDP argues that what investors seek and what our economy needs is policy certainty and this amendment Bill does not provide for that.

The ACDP believes that this Bill, in its current form, is nothing more than a populous political tool to consolidate and hold on to power regardless of the consequences. 

We will not support it.

I thank you House Chair.

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