[UPDATE] Please note that the deadline for written submissions has been extended to Friday, 15 June 2018.
The Joint Constitutional Review Committee is inviting public submissions on the review of the property clause contained in section 25 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (the Constitution), as well as other sections where necessary. The deadline for written submissions and an indication of a willingness to make oral submissions is Thursday, 31 May 2018, and should be directed to:
- Pat Jayiya
- Email: [email protected]
- Telephone: +27 (0)21 403-3661
The key issue for consideration is the expropriation of land in the public interest without compensation, that may necessitate a constitutional amendment. If section 25 of the Constitution is indeed amended, this will be the first constitutional amendment to the Bill of Rights since the inception of the Constitution.
Currently, section 25(2) of the Constitution provides as follows:
“Property may be expropriated only in terms of law of general application—
(a) for a public purpose or in the public interest; and
(b) subject to compensation, the amount of which and the time and manner of payment of which have either been agreed to by those affected or decided or approved by a court.”
Section 25(3) of the Constitution goes further to provide that the amount of compensation, as well as the time and manner of payment, must be just and equitable, reflecting an equitable balance between the public interest and the interests of those affected. This should be determined having regard to all relevant circumstances, including the current use of the property; the history of the acquisition and use of the property; the market value of the property; the extent of direct state investment and subsidy in the acquisition and beneficial capital improvement of the property; and the purpose of the expropriation.
As stipulated in section 25(4), public interest contemplated under section 25 of the Constitution includes the nation’s commitment to land reform and to reforms to bring about equitable access to all South Africa’s natural resources. Property referred to in section 25 of the Constitution is not limited to land.
Further information is accessible here.
Please note: The information contained in this note is for general guidance on matters of interest, and does not constitute legal advice. For any enquiries, please contact us at [email protected].