S/Africa’s land bill set for Parliament – VP

The South African government has published the Land Expropriation Bill of 2020 that seeks to guide the country's reform programme…

The South African government has published the Land Expropriation Bill of 2020 that seeks to guide the country’s reform programme to satisfy the hunger for land ownership among the country’s landless majority population, Deputy President David Mabuza has said.Speaking on Sunday, Mabuza said the bill’s publication indicates that the government was serious about redressing and fulfilling the aspirations of the majority blacks to have an equitable society.

“It is a recognition of the urgency required to address the injustices of the past and restore land rights in a responsible manner, while ensuring that food security is maintained.

“In addition, there bill offers equitable spatial justice, and secures the continuation of investment to expand our industrial base,” Mabuza said.

Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille said the bill was part of the government’s comprehensive approach to land reforms to redress spatial inequality, and improve access to services and opportunities for all.

“The bill is part of the comprehensive land redistribution and agricultural development programme. Expropriation of property with nil compensation is not a silver bullet. It is only but one acquisition mechanism that, in appropriate cases, will enable land reform and redress as agreed by the Presidential Advisory Panel Report on Land Reform and Agriculture,” De Lille, who is a member of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Land Reforms, said.

President Cyril Ramaphosa appointed the land panel in 2018 to provide an equal and unified way to land distribution following centuries of land grabbing by white settlers who still hold the country’s best lands at the expense of Africans – who lost it at gunpoint.

“The land bill brings certainty to South Africans and investors because it clearly outlines how expropriation can be done and on what basis.

“This legislative certainty is critical as we rebuild our economy and invest in our communities,” De Lille said.

Opposition Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema has demanded the expropriation of land without compensation from white landowners because, in his words, they paid nothing for it when they grabbed in it from his ancestors.