New Expropriation Bill is unconstitutional and economically disastrous: Institute of Race Relations

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THANDI XABA

The Expropriation Bill of 2015 has re-surfaced and government expects over 300 000 new claims to be lodged during the re-open claims process, with a window period which will be until June 2019.

The proposal was released by the department of public works minister Thulas Nxesi with the expectation it will be passed by parliament before end of the year.

The CEO of the Institute of Race Relations (IRR) Frans Cronjé says the proposed bill, which will give government power to take ownership and possession of property of any kind without a valid court order, is unconstitutional.

Cronje further says the danger with this law is it’ll threaten investors since most investors need certainty that their assets will be protected and under the common law, government cannot simply seize property without first obtaining a court order in the form of a search-and-seizure warrant.

He says property rights are important in order to maintain individual rights and when government has power to take property of people within a society it infringes on their personal rights.