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SA moves a step closer to land expropriation without payment

Draft bill to be published next week will give people the first chance to see the proposed changes to the constitution.
President says the planned reform – including the clause that ‘a court may determine that the amount of compensation is nil’ – will not hurt food security or damage the economy. Image: Shutterstock

Proposed changes to South Africa’s constitution to allow land to be expropriated without payment will be officially published next week, potentially setting the stage for a conflict between the government and commercial farmers and the opposition.

The ruling African National Congress (ANC) has pledged to accelerate land reform, a divisive issue in South Africa 25 years after the end of apartheid, when land was taken from millions among the black majority and where housing and land ownership patterns remain vastly unequal today.

Wide public support has put pressure on the ANC to follow through on seizing land but the plan has drawn criticism from commercial farmers and opposition politicians who warn it will scare off investors and potentially harm food production.

President Cyril Ramaphosa says the planned reform will not hurt food security nor damage the already struggling economy.

Publishing the draft bill, after a special parliamentary committee agreed on Thursday to have the bill gazetted, will give people the first chance to see the proposed changes to the constitution and then have their say.

“I have signed the necessary papers to allow them to publish the bill. We are going ahead so everything is on course,” said Mathole Motshekga, chairman of the ad hoc committee overseeing the legislative changes.

Three changes 

There are three proposed changes to the text of South Africa’s Bill of Rights dealing with property, with the third, an insertion of a new paragraph saying that “national legislation must … set out specific circumstances where a court may determine that the amount of compensation is nil” proving the most problematic.

At least three opposition parties, including the largest, the Democratic Alliance, wanted this clause removed entirely or at least for the specific circumstances alluded to to become part of the proposed constitutional changes.

“We should be absolutely clear under which circumstances there can be nil compensation. It should be spelt out, those conditions, and it should be in the constitution,” said Corné Mulder of the Freedom Front Plus, which represents mainly white Afrikaner voters.

The ad hoc committee expects to finalise its process by the end of March 2020, with public input included. If the changes are adopted, it will go to the national assembly for vote, then to the upper house and finally to the president to sign into law.



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I hope they start with expropriating all the traditional kings and leaders land first. Then the people can own he land borrow money against that land.

Wont happen but that is actually the exact thing that should happen — dissolve all the communal land trusts and bantustans, fully re-incorporate the lands back to the republic so that individual title deess can be given to the people who live there.
That is genuine empowerment and immediate wealth beneficiation to nearly 18 million people.
But it wont happen because this bill is just a vehicle that will make the ANC sole owners (aka “custodians”) of the whole country. With the entire population essentially at their mercy.
To prevent the kind of oppression that brings is why Magna Carta and the right to private property matter so very much.
But hey, those who will mot learn from history, or even learn history,…

“to allow land to be expropriated without payment” is not the worst of this ANC effort to legalise theft and and negate the agreement reached in 1994 (the ANC seemingly never intended to honour the deal that was struck in 1994, only using it to get “a foot in the door” – that is to me a definition of negotiating in bad faith!)
The change in the constitution will not be limited to land, it will be property, which includes everything that anybody owns. It will be a license to EWC whatever is available at any time.

It will end in tears like everything else the ANC touch.

No need to over-analyse any economic consequences:


This is quite simple a national disaster. The anc had proved only thing and that is that they cannot govern nor make productive business decisions.

The 3 parts which will not only nail the coffin shut will almost happen at the same time “Coincidentally”.
1)Expropriation without compensation
2) Raiding of the RA
3) Failure of State Owned Enterprises

The net result is the DOWN GRADE of SA inc, Capital & Skills Flight and Finally bone scavengers running the streets.

The voters got what they voted for, you are what you eat.

There are huge tracks of unused land which White farmers are just sitting on and not using and hoping that one day it can be sold for a fortune. Its this land that needs to be unlocked first. Not sure if some of these white farm owners are now residing in Australia.

Government should rather increase the rates and taxes on farm land so that it is used more economically or sold back to government. Infact the best income stream for government is to increase the rates and taxes, rather than expropriating, it will come back to government if they can not afford to pay their outstanding rates and taxes. This will mean that all land will come back to government and only those that have a very valuable sustainable project will purchase or lease it, land will never sit idle and hoarded.

And how exactly will this benefit anyone? Making small enterprise unsustainable will directly lead to government hoarding dead land. Just look north to see how that works out.

White farmers made the land what it is.
But come and take it, it will be interesting.

Another failure on its way. They cannot even distribute what they have but they want more.

We farmers know why. They are too idle and incompetent to build up and operate a farm so they want a ready made working farm. When it is wrecked they will move on to the next one.

Luckily a lot of SA is arid far from towns and cities and like my area has temperature ranges from minus 15 to 30 plus. No trees to burn, no spaza shops, no work for hangers on, no taxis, one empty ATM, nope they won’t want to live here.

“President Cyril Ramaphosa says the planned reform will not hurt food security nor damage the already struggling economy.” Really?

In the same way that the ANC control of Eskom hasn’t crippled the economy? Nor that EVERY SOE has failed?

A morally, ethically and intellectually bankrupt ANC has systematically bankrupted South Africa and now the final nail is being driven into the coffin.

30 years ago I found it hard to believe that we would follow the Zimbabwe route but my naivete is now being exposed.

“Intellectually bankrupt” I like that….the AI COMMENT HELD FOR MODERATION machine didn’t pick that up 😉

The word intellectual should not be used in the same sentence as ANC.

Go for it but don’t be so naïve (as usual) to think there won’t be serious consequences. Countries compete for capital and investment and with EWC all we are doing is making other countries more attractive investment destinations.

And another step towards civil unrest????? Undeterred !!!

Most South African investors are like turkeys looking forward to Xmas. If you haven’t moved all your discretionary assets offshore by now, you deserve what is coming your way. ‘The moving hand, having writ, moves on,”

Lets be honest here everyone, this was the ultimate endgame from 1994. The post 1994 euphoria that lasted for a few years was engineered to pacify a skittish minority population to prevent waves of exits as well as prevent punitive measures against SA when the world’s eye was on it.

Inch by inch more regressive policies were introduced to gauge the world’s reaction. For the most part, the world has been silent and has criticized those painted the true picture of the supposed “rainbow nation”.

Finally, the ruling party has decided to push its most radical reforms as other populist parties in SA get traction. Honestly, this could have been predicted from about 1996 onwards.

…the “Stalingrad effect”…chewing away bit by bit.

Presies, net so Magnus! It’s time that South Africans invest more abroad without looking like rabbits in a car’s headlights.

Mauritius is a high growth market (…time that I also speak to GavinB soon)

(But I think corporates have already been doing their Capital Flight thing since Nenegate, that’s why the JSE All Share is stuck below 60,000 for the past 5 years).

ANC cannot erect and run a Spaza shop – all BEE handouts. Easy way to become very rich.Hard graft not part of ANC culture. Get your children to leave ASAP , we are to old
Annual salary increases of 15% I was told this week and now disgusted at 5% increase this year. Whow, I have NEVER known 15% increase – all the pie in sky ANC illusion. Tragic

Hi Magnus i notice MW have not published an article written by you for a long time . is this how we have to read you in future , what’s up ?

This happens : Zim 2.0 beta version applies.

Astoundingly stupid policies deliver predictable results

Agree, the ANC wants to try the same business confidence stifling approach as ZANU-PF….and yet they think the result will end differently!

“national legislation must … set out specific circumstances where a court may determine that the amount of compensation is nil”

This is extremely dangerous. All that this clause in the bill of rights would do is allow for a smaller majority in parliament (i.e. the ANC exclusively) to control the expropriation of land without compensation.

I’m already emigrating but if this clause is passed, you will see people emigrating en masse like you have never seen before.

As touched on, the ANC think we are all suckers. The IRR point out that the “land” goalposts have been shifted, people took the money (92%), they want urban land, farm land is not a priority, 99% of the submissions, mostly against EWC were ignored, land already expropriated lies idle, there is no support for “black farmers” and so on. All giving the lie to he EWC looting. Reality is that the same venal self serving ANC elites want the “land”; as in Zim. Ramaphosa is just the head of the snake.

Then ANC deployees (ABSA Private Bank top dog) the latest bleat about “the private sector must come to SA’s growth party”. Clem Sunter is “80%” positive. Are they insane or do they think SA is stupid? Regardless of colour, if you ain’t an ANC elite cadre, your “property”, including any investment, is worth nothing. It is not going to be pretty.

I trust that the government reimburse the party who are evicted their rates and taxes, bond interest and other costs associated with the legal acquisition of the property from day one

“President says the planned reform – including the clause that ‘a court may determine that the amount of compensation is nil’ – will not hurt food security or damage the economy” – There is no way the president can say that and back it up with facts. We have become used to his motherhood statements.

Maybe I’m too cynical today, as I sit under my raincoat with a candle waiting for the SAA bus to arrive. Looks like we are driving to Cape Town today.

My cynical side says that you can’t keep the lights on and can’t fly a plane without incurring a R25m loss per day seven days a week. Why would EWC and NHI be successful? If you add South Africa’s rampant toxic corruption to the mix then disaster is all I see.

Looks like everyone wants free land, but not in the middle of nowhere. Closer please, inside a city in a desirable neighbourhood. This will lead to a destruction of urban land values. It wouldn’t bother the new owners since they’re getting it for free. Eventually it will dawn on them. 100% of nothing is still nothing. The other thing that no one is talking about, is that EWC can happen more than once. There is no clause that prevents it. So your newly acquired property can be expropriated by someone else, who paid a bigger bribe and has better connections.

These cadres are so two faced- they go overseas with the begging bowl and tell lies to obtain donations , then when they get home they talk and act with the other side of their forked tongues
Do they think civilised South Africans are not warning influential foreigners to keep their money out of this#@%^country ?

It’s so nice to know that the cANCer is focusing on the ‘right’ issues – if the ANarChy continue on this track, the whole of SA will need to be placed on business rescue. And where is Cyril ? Hiding in a corner somewhere or handing out t shirts…

Start with the biggest land owner in SA the Government, the problem I would imagine is that this land lies barren with ZERO tangible assets on it which can be plundered for self enrichment.

Banks of SA, what are you doing to protect your assets as most people have bonds. Do you really think I will continue to pay my bond if the Government takes my property “Good Luck”.

ANC do you truly believe the mindset you have created amongst the masses with your BS promises of “its my right” will pay Transfer duties, Rates & Taxes, Water and Lights. You cannot even get Soweto to Pay the measly R39 a month per household for electricity do you really think they will pay the R440 odd rand levy I pay for the privilege of being connected for electricity and off course to subsidies the R39 a month ……YOU ARE LIVING IN A DREAM WORLD.

While we are at it what are the medical aid schemes doing to retain there business with me ……… ZERO instead they are aligning with Government so they can profit even more from the NHI.

Once the ANC has chased all investors, engineers, Doctors and Tax payers etc out of the country who do you think is going to fund your harebrained ideas? You cannot manage any SOE’s, Municipalities, the Virus called Unions, the greed within Government with all the Money you have now, how you going to do it with a 100% society with “its my right” as their Mantra, and if I don’t get what I want, I will strike, Burn schools, riot etc etc.

To the rest of the WORLD …………..where is your input now or does South Africa not matter anymore as you are happy to see it burn just like Zim did.

The only policy (EWC) the EFF had was stolen and the EFF pre-empted.

Then the issue got a momentum of it’s own.

Tampering with the property rights of an economy is as inconceivable as tampering with motherhood in a family.

Land should not be dusted off as an election issue every 5 years – there should be a hundred year certainty about land – then you build a future for black children.

A stolen good will always remain a stolen good regardless of how long it takes before the owner reclaims it.

Please let the owners decide!

This will nullify every legal document in the land and immediate 3rd world anarchy will follow.

End of comments.





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