The proposed Amendment of Section 25, the Property Clause, of the Constitution will allow for expropriation of land where the compensation can be nil.
Secondly, and very concerning, is that the amendment proposes that legislation will be used to determine the circumstances under which compensation can be nil.
This is extremely problematic and concerning on two grounds. Although the amendments refer to land, it must be understood that land is not confined to agricultural land.
It includes any land, ranging from farms to communal land, small holdings to urban property. The concept “land’ is not defined in the amendment.
Secondly, the proposed amendment in a new Section 3(A) proposes that the circumstances to determine whether the compensation for land should be nil, should be left to legislation.
This is extremely concerning as the threshold requires for passing legislation is a simple majority in Parliament, whereas passing a constitutional amendment is much higher as two thirds majority plus six of the nine provinces in the NCOP are required.
It also makes it possible for extremely arbitrary circumstances to be proposed through legislation.
The DA believes that any circumstances for expropriation should be included in the Constitution as this affects the very core of the Bill of Rights, your right to own property and the protection against the expropriation of your property in a way that amounts to confiscation.
The ANC has decided to rush this bill through and therefore the period for comments by the public, has been severely curtailed by the limited period of mid-December, the festive season and then January.
The DA calls on everyone, who wants to protect our Constitution to object to this bill as we cannot allow an amendment to Section 25.
To add your objection to the amendment, follow this link and participate in the objection process.