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Today, exactly 26 years after the release of Nelson Mandela, citizens face the single greatest threat to their human and economic rights. This was the reaction of Cornelius Jansen van Rensburg, CEO of AfriBusiness, after the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Public Works accepted the new Expropriation Bill.
Should the Expropriation Bill be approved by Parliament, AfriBusiness will test its constitutionality. According to Jansen van Rensburg, this bill will be catastrophic for the country’s economy: “It destroys the most important principle of a democratic state, namely the right to own property.”
Investment risk will increase significantly as property security is destroyed; the rand will depreciate further and South Africa’s credit rating could soon reach junk status. Poor people will be hit hardest. Measured against Government’s comments at the recent World Economic Forum conference in Davos, Switzerland, it is clear that the Zuma administration enjoys no credibility.
“Restitution, redistribution and inequality have nothing to do with the aims of this new Expropriation Bill. It is simply an attempt by the ANC to gain more control over individuals and communities – nothing more than the power that medieval feudal lords had enjoyed,” Van Rensburg said.
Apart from the fact that all forms of property can now be targeted by Government for nationalisation, the bill also seeks to delegate power of expropriation to Local Government. If Government succeeds in obtaining power over citizens’ property, human rights will be next in Government’s sight.