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Draft Expropriation Bill Released for Comment

January 14, 2019

Department of Public Works

A draft bill designed to provide for the expropriation of property for a public purpose or in the public interest has been published for comment.

The public works department published the Draft Expropriation Bill in Government Gazette 42127.

The proposed bill focuses on, inter alia, powers of the minister of public works to expropriate, investigation and valuation of property, intention to expropriate and expropriation of property, compensation for expropriation, mediation and determination by court, urgent expropriation and withdrawal of expropriation.

The draft bill will empower the public works minister to expropriate property for a public purpose or in the public interest.

Expropriating authorities will be expected to request the municipal manager of the municipality in which the land to be expropriated is situated to inform them of the effect that the expropriation is likely to have on municipal planning.

The draft bill also stipulates that the expropriated holder of an unregistered right in a property that has been expropriated is entitled to compensation.

Compensation to be paid to an expropriated owner or holder must be just and equitable reflecting an equitable balance between the public interest and the interests of the expropriated owner or holder.

The proposed legislation also stipulates that it may be just and equitable for nil compensation to be paid where land is expropriated in the public interest under certain circumstances such as where the land is occupied or used by a labour tenant, where the land is held for purely speculative purposes, where the land is owned by a state-owned entity and where the market value of the land is equivalent to, or less than, the present value of direct state investment or subsidy in the acquisition and beneficial capital improvement of the land.

Comment is invited within 60 days of the date of publication.