Will Land Expropriation Without Compensation Affect Urban Housing?

south africa land expropriation
Supplied photo.

Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (Seri) researcher Lwazi Mtshigo explains how land expropriation without compensation will affect urban housing.

South Africa is in the process of amending Section 25 of the Constitution to make land expropriation without compensation more explicit.

But how will this amendment affect urban housing?

Lwazi Mtshigo, a research and advocacy officer at the Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (Seri) says that this does not mean that government will embark on a process of taking people’s property.

The types of land the government will expropriate

According to the draft bill, the government will reserve the right to expropriate the following types of land:

  • Land occupied by a labour tenant as under the Restitution of Land Rights Act;
  • Land that has been purchased for ‘speculative’ purposes;
  • Land owned by a state-owned enterprise;
  • Land which has been abandoned by a landowner;
  • When the market value of the land is equal or less than the present value of direct state investment or subsidisation for the purchase of beneficial capital improvement of the land.

What then would be the risks involved in purchasing private property or land without the knowledge of whether or not it has been earmarked for expropriation?

The risk of purchasing urban housing

The question was put forth to Lwazi Mtshigo on Cape Talk.

“It’s inconsiderable for government to take people’s private property or any land that is considered profitable or useful… so I don’t see any reason why people should have any fear,” he stated.

Mtshigo stated that in the event that the government earmarks land for expropriation, people still have the Constitution available to them for protective measures.

Listen to the audio for more.