Cabinet has approved what some legal minds generally view as a more ‘balanced’ Expropriation Bill to be tabled before Parliament, Minister in the Presidency, Jeff Radebe, briefed a horde of journalists in Cape Town recently.
The earlier version of the Bill was passed in 2008 but was abandoned after some sections of civil society challenged its constitutionality. They had said that it overlooked the values and provisions of the constitution.
The revised version accommodates the jurisdiction of the courts in determining the compensation due for expropriated property. However, still, it has not impressed others who say that it is to the advantage of only those with the financial resources to afford potentially longwinded legal process. What is seen as the Bill’s other contentious aspect is that it grants expropriation powers to other organs of the state as well, over and above the Minister of Public Works.