Cronin: No expropriation frenzy

2013-04-17 14:20
Jeremy Cronin (Picture: Supplied)

Jeremy Cronin (Picture: Supplied)

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Cape Town - Deputy Public Works Minister Jeremy Cronin on Wednesday gave assurances that the new expropriation bill would not lead to a frenzy of land claims by the state.

He told MPs he was pleased there seemed to be a general understanding that the draft legislation did not pit government against "ordinary citizens now facing a kind of orgy of expropriation".

"This is not about empowering the state to go out and expropriate more wildly and more effectively than ever before," Cronin told Parliament's portfolio committee on public works.

"We want to make sure that expropriation, where it is required, either for a public purpose or a public interest, we achieve those public purposes but in ways that are equitable and just and in compliance with the Constitution."

An earlier draft of the bill was withdrawn in 2008 amid objections. This version would be sent to Cabinet once the public comment process had concluded, and then be tabled in Parliament for deliberations.

Standardising the procedures

Cronin said he believed the bill would not necessarily speed up expropriation, but make the process more orderly and predictable, and set out the administrative steps that all departments had to comply with when expropriating property.

"It puts a lot of onus on the expropriating authority, so it means that the municipalities or whatever department will have to get their ducks in a row," he told Sapa.

The bill seeks to standardise the procedures to be followed by all state entities - some 150 in total - that have the power to expropriate land.

It also lessens the emphasis on market value when determining compensation, stating that all relevant factors have to be considered.

Cronin believed the state had often been "taken to the cleaners" on compensation because it had to acquire land urgently to complete a public project, for example the Gautrain.

Read more on:    jeremy cronin  |  cape town  |  parliament 2013  |  land  |  legislation

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