AfriBusiness today announced that it would provide free legal aid to the first of its members who becomes a victim of expropriation without compensation due to an amendment of the property rights clause in the Constitution. All members of AfriBusiness, both individuals and companies, will enjoy this protection.
This follows the carrying of the EFF’s motion in Parliament on 27 February 2018 to initiate the process to amend the Constitution to allow expropriation without compensation. And it follows the remarks yesterday at the so-called National Forum for Dialogue, where Rural Development and Land Reform minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane announced that her department had already identified land for expropriation without compensation. “She is preparing for a test case to expropriate land without compensation,” it was reported.
Piet le Roux, CEO of AfriBusiness, says the business rights watch dog will not hesitate to institute legal action in this regard. “We are ready to institute legal action on behalf of the first AfriBusiness member whose property is expropriated without compensation in terms of an amendment of the property clause in the Constitution.”
Le Roux further says that AfriBusiness will not accept an injustice simply because it has been written into the Constitution. “Expropriation without compensation is theft, irrespective of whether it is made constitutional or not.”
“Moreover, the dilution of property rights in South Africa would lead to extensive economic harm and social disruption – something that would not be in the public interest at all. It would reverse the gains of land restitution since 1994, and hamper the only two sources of successful land reform – goodwill and the free market – leaving South Africa with government land reform only. And to add insult to injury, indications are that the ANC and EFF intend to make the state the custodian or owner of all land, leading to even less black, coloured and Indian land ownership than currently exist. Any undermining of the property rights of white land owners will come at the expense of the property rights of all other racial groups in South Africa as well,” Le Roux warns.
Apart from preparing for such a lawsuit, AfriBusiness is also working on a comprehensive plan for the protection of property rights. This plan will focus on the looming amendment of Section 25 of the Constitution in particular, and also on the protection of property rights in general. More information on this will be made available in due course.
*AfriBusiness is a business organisation that supports property rights and free markets. It serves the public interest wherever its members do business, and serves the interests of its 12 000 members in the domains of public policy, business services and business infrastructure.