Dear Rental Agents
The question of expropriation of property has caused much fear and anxiety as well as many unfounded rumours in our industry. I outline simply the current constitutional legislation which, keep in mind, would require a 2/3 of parliament to possible change our constitution.
This is information which would influence landlords for future investment in rental property.
The main political supporter who has received much press coverage in this regard is Julius Malema, leader of the Economic Freedom Front, who would like to see expropriation of property without compensation i.e. without any payment. The Expropriation Bill of 2015 is still being debated in parliament with some ANC members strongly against it. It is believed that there is much misunderstanding that exists which has to be clarified.
Expropriation of land in South Africa is not a new concept. The present Expropriation Act of 1975 makes provision for the expropriation of land and property for public purposes together with anything connected therewith. There are no guidelines to the authorities as to how this would take place, nor how to meet standards of fair justice by courts.
The replacement bill states that property or land or anything else can be expropriated for public purposes or interests with just and fair compensation. The Constitution’s national commitment to land reform and equal access for all citizens to the natural resources of South Africa is stressed.
So what it means is that confiscation of property will not take place unless it is for a public purpose or interest, and it can only be executed by organs of state and persons with the right to expropriate. If there are dwellers whose property is not registered in the normal manner, they will be treated on a fair basis. Those persons who have property registered in their names will be fairly compensated.
Land and property in urban areas is becoming greatly sought after with the growing mass of previous country dwellers migrating to the cities. Property developers are cashing in on this growing urban population by building high rise developments in previously disadvantaged areas, thereby displacing communities who have lived there for generations. Woodstock and Salt River in Cape Town are good examples. The government will not tolerate this as it is the poor mostly who are adversely affected in this regard.
I am interested to note that 120 hectares of open land between Pinelands and Observatory in Cape Town have been declared a mixed-use project and will comprise 11 000 units of affordable housing for those earning less than R2000 and R25000 a month. It will be a socially mixed, integrated and sustainable community where students and people can live safely and easily,
There will be much debate on this question and it is stressed that our Constitution is clear in that all South Africans are entitled to the rights and privileges of citizenship, all races and sexes are recognised coupled with the right to dignity and equality.
Legally it is believed that this new bill is an improvement on the current Expropriation Act of 1975 as it clearly recognises that protection should be given to property owners and should not discourage future property owners.
The above information is available on podcast for the benefit of our subscribers. You can also download the Property Practitioners Draft Bill off of our website.
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