Minister of Public Works Thulas Nxesi. Picture: SUNDAY WORLD
Minister of Public Works Thulas Nxesi. Picture: SUNDAY WORLD

THE controversial Expropriation Bill was passed in Parliament on Tuesday night despite concerns from opposition parties that it was unconstitutional.

Opposition parties on Tuesday insisted the bill should have its validity tested in the country’s highest court.

But Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi argued that the bill was fair and equitable, and said if an individual disagreed with the amount offered during an expropriation, this could be challenged in a court of law.

The Democratic Alliance’s Anchen Dreyer warned that the bill created uncertainty for property owners and that this would act as a deterrent to investment and further harm an already fragile economy.

The ability to expropriate land in the public interest has raised fears that the legislation will become a tool for use in land reform.

Two parties, the Economic Freedom Fighters and the Pan Africanist Congress, insisted that the land was stolen from blacks and should be taken back without compensation.

Freedom Front Plus MP Pieter Groenewald rejected the bill for allowing expropriation in the public interest as well as the usual public purpose. He said it was a legalised land grab which should be tested in the Constitutional Court.