Issued by the FW de Klerk Foundation on 08/02/2024 


On Wednesday, 7 February 2024, Parliament’s second house, the National Council of Provinces’ committee working on the Expropriation Bill, met to discuss changes to the Bill.

The Bill aims to legalise expropriation without compensation (“EWC”) in certain instances, even though an earlier attempt to change the Constitution to explicitly make provision for EWC failed.

The amendments discussed included changes to the Bill’s provisions relating to urgent expropriations, the definition of ownership and expropriation on behalf of third parties. A majority of the committee’s members voted in favour of the amendments.

It is the FW de Klerk Foundation’s view that these amendments unfortunately continue to fall short of safeguarding property rights guaranteed by section 25 of the Constitution, said Christo van der Rheede, Executive Director of the Foundation, in response to this decision. “The changes discussed fail to remedy any of the constitutional concerns raised by the Foundation or numerous other stakeholders. Property rights lay the foundation for wealth creation and should be strengthened and expanded rather than diluted.” 

By permitting expropriation to proceed, even in the face of court proceedings, these amendments pose a direct threat to the rule of law and the principles of administrative justice,” said Ismail Joosub, the Foundation’s Legal Officer. “Furthermore, the Bill’s definitions continue to lack clarity, potentially leading to subjective interpretations and possible abuses. This undermines property rights for all citizens, as it opens the door to arbitrary determinations regarding, for example, ownership and property rights.”