The government has reportedly authorised the expropriation of a disputed farm in Limpopo, after the current owners rejected the purchase offer made by the state.
According to a report by the City Press, the move comes as part of a bid to speed up the land reform process and to test the Constitutionality of the land reform laws as they stand.
The ANC is determined to push ahead with changing the Constitution to make land expropriation without compensation an explicit feature of land reform in South Africa.
Many opponents to the plans have argued that the current laws already allow for such – however, these laws are yet to be tested in many aspects.
Now farms in Limpopo will serve as the testing ground for this.
According to the report, the farm is currently part of a land claim that was made back in 1996. Government has reportedly offered compensation of R20 million for it – but the owners want R200 million.
The matter is expected to play out in court as both parties argue against the facts presented by either side.
The land owners say that the government’s valuation of R20 million is too low, and that the initial land claim made against the land is also invalid.
Government, meanwhile, says that the owners have already expressed willingness to sell the land, and are overvaluing the land by as much as 300%.
According to the City Press, the department of rural development and land reform said that this wasn’t specifically a matter of land expropriation without compensation, but it was rather seeking clarity on what constitutes “just and equitable” compensation, as laid out in our current laws.
However, it is understood that the department signed final orders for expropriation in terms of section 42E of the Restitution of Land Rights Act, where negotiations have become deadlocked.
You can read the full report in the City Press.