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Ekurhuleni Mayor cannot expropriate without compensation (EWC) outside due process

Agri SA wants to make the following clear: The Mayor of the City of Ekurhuleni cannot simply announce expropriation without compensation (EWC) of property without following the correct legal process. This applies to all spheres of government; municipal, provincial and national.

“To suggest that property can summarily be expropriated without any compensation is to seriously undermine South Africa’s entire legal framework,” said Omri van Zyl, Executive Director of Agri SA. “Politicians do not get to make legal pronouncements, our Courts do.”

Any expropriation can only be done for a legitimate purpose in terms of specific legislation that grants a power of expropriation, and the constitution requires just and equitable compensation and entrenches the right to contest any dispute around expropriation in court.
The courts retain the authority to decide what the level of equitable compensation must be, in accordance with relevant legislation and the constitution.

For the sake of legal clarity – land can be expropriated for housing purposes and that the compensation amount be less than the market value, provided that that is just and equitable. But, the court will have to be satisfied that compensation is just and equitable having considered all relevant factors.

“It is necessary to emphasize that our Courts are the final arbiter of what compensation should be awarded for expropriated property,” said Annelize Crosby, Head of the Land Centre of Excellence at Agri SA. “A zero-compensation amount is only likely in very exceptional circumstances. It is in the national interest that our courts develop guidelines and give certainty regarding what is just and equitable compensation.”

Agri SA wishes to reiterate that it will get involved in test cases on this issue. Agri SA is also getting more information on the particular properties through its affiliation in Gauteng and will respond accordingly.

Omri van Zyl
Agri SA, Executive Director
C: 082 417 5724

Annelize Crosby
Agri SA, Head: Centre of Excellence – Land
C: 082 388 0017