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27 Aug 2008 11:47
AfriForum on Wednesday welcomed a decision by the National Assembly’s public works committee to withdraw the controversial draft Expropriation Bill until further notice.
“The retraction of the Expropriation Bill is proof of the power which civil society can exert when its organisations cooperate with each other,” AfriForum CEO Kallie Kriel said in a statement.
“The Expropriation Bill’s stipulation that the expropriation amount may be less than the market value of the property and that market value will not be the determining factor, would have deterred local as well as international investors, had it been implemented,” added Kriel.
The National Assembly’s public works committee on Tuesday shelved the controversial draft Bill because of a lack of proper consultation.
Committee chairperson Thandi Tobias-Pokolo said the committee hoped the Bill would be reintroduced in the next Parliament.
“Advice sought by the portfolio committee indicated that more time was needed to ensure that a wide variety of stakeholders had been consulted and that public participation may have been insufficient to
see the Bill through,” she said.
The Bill has drawn sharp criticism from a wide range of civil organisations and political parties, who claim it would have allowed for the expropriation of any property “in the public interest”, including shares, for example.
However, the government stated it was designed to bring about land reform and the delivery of essential services. - Sapa
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