COSATU welcomes the National Assembly’s passage of the long awaited Expropriation Bill

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) welcomes the National Assembly’s passage of the long-awaited Expropriation Bill.  This is an historic victory for the working class, the dispossessed and the downtrodden.  It is a welcome step forward to honouring the African National Congress’ 2019 elections manifesto commitment.

The Expropriation will be a key tool that will capacitate government to radically accelerate land reform. The essence of this Bill is that government may use expropriation, and when relevant expropriation without compensation, to support land reform, address the legacies of apartheid and the inequalities that still scar South Africa’s socio-economic landscape.

This is critical as South Africa remains one of the world’s most unequal nations. We have failed collectively to deal with the legacies of colonialism and apartheid. Land ownership remains overwhelmingly skewed towards white men. Millions of largely African, Coloured and women South Africans remain landless. This is condemning millions to living in informal areas and backyard dwellings in our cities and towns. It is denying millions of rural residents and farm workers and labour tenants their rightful opportunities to till and own land, and to contribute towards food security and reducing unemployment.

It will end the days of land reform and a cash strapped state being held to ransom by exorbitant compensations demands. It will remove the need to compensate colonial and apartheid era expropriations.

The Bill equally protects the rights of ordinary workers and South Africans from potential abuses from corrupt elements in government. It states clearly how expropriation processes must be managed and when nil or partial compensation may be utilised. It provides for legal recourse for all parties. The Bill is progressive and in line with the Constitution and international norms. It provides a just and equitable balance and ensures the needs of workers are respected.

COSATU supports this long overdue Bill and urges the National Council of Provinces, where it will now be sent for consideration, to prioritise its passage. 

Issued by COSATU

For further information please contact:
Matthew Parks-COSATU Parliamentary Coordinator