Issued by Ismail Joosub on behalf of the FW de Klerk Foundation, on 16/04/2024


In the face of the Expropriation Bill’s looming implementation, South Africa stands at a critical crossroads, where the very foundation of its economy and property rights is under threat. The consequences of this ill-conceived legislation are dire.

The Bill’s provision for expropriation without compensation threatens the stability of the banking sector,” warns Christo van der Rheede, Executive Director at the FW de Klerk Foundation. “Loans secured by properties facing possible expropriation remain valid, potentially leaving borrowers liable for full debt. This jeopardises approximately R1,6 trillion in mortgages, eroding confidence and risking a financial meltdown. A run on the banks is not inconceivable.”

International disasters like Zimbabwe and Venezuela heighten apprehension. Investor confidence, already fragile, would plummet, leading to capital flight and decreased foreign investment. The consequence? Business closures, job losses and a crippled economy with even greater rampant unemployment and increased poverty. The poorest will bear the brunt of the fallout.

Without proper safeguards, the Bill is open to abuse and will undermine confidence in property rights, resulting in disinvestment in the economy by South Africans and foreigners alike,” says Shaun Kinnes, intern at the Foundation. “This undermines innovation and will only shrink SA’s already struggling economy.”

The Expropriation Bill is a train wreck waiting to happen, with devastating consequences for the economy and the most vulnerable in society.

The Foundation urges President Cyril Ramaphosa to exercise the powers the Constitution gives him to send this law back to Parliament for reconsideration, lest we plunge into the abyss of economic and constitutional uncertainty.