S Africa – ANC to develop new land policy to replace “willing seller”

Mail and Guardian

The ANC announced at its policy conference that the party plans to do away with its “willing seller, willing buyer” policy for land restitution.

Delegates at ANC conference in Midrand

Its new policy will be based directly on section 25 of the Constitution which states that expropriation of land must be accompanied by compensation that is “just and equitable”.

Expropriation is also only allowed by the Constitution if it is in “the public interest” or for a “public purpose”.

Agriculture Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersen told a press briefing after the close of conference on Friday night that the Valuer General would decide on the price of land that would be expropriated and that if there would be “recourse to the courts” if deals were not concluded.

Joemat-Pettersen added that there would also be a “use-it or lose-it” policy in relation to agricultural land that was not in production and that land that had already been restituted to communities “could also be lost”.

Balance of evidence
The conference had also decided “expropriation without compensation will only happen when land is acquired illegally” and that courts would have to decide on which land was acquired illegally and in a “nefarious manner”.

According to the agriculture minister, the determination of illegally acquired land would “depend on the balance of evidence”.  Read more…

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