South Africa’s parliament withdrew an expropriation bill it passed in 2016 that allowed the state to make compulsory purchases of land to redress racial disparities in ownership, the ruling African National Congress (ANC) said on Tuesday.The thrust of the bill, which had not been signed into law, has been overtaken by a proposal by the ANC to change the constitution to allow the expropriation of land without compensation.
However, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Aug. 1 the ANC plans to change the constitution to allow the expropriation of land without compensation, as whites still own most of South Africa’s territory.
South Africans are taking part in public hearings on land reform that are being held countrywide, to give their comments on the ANC’s proposal to change the constitution.
“Were the bill to be re-introduced, it would contain a clause or clauses reflecting expropriation of land without compensation if that is the way that South Africans have chosen to go,” she said.
The rand ZAR=D3 rallied briefly on the news, firming more than one percent to a session high of 13.9525 before giving up all the gains to trade at 14.1250 at 1502 GMT.
Markets and investors are wary because of concerns about wider threats to property rights.
Reporting by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo and James Macharia