Expropriation without compensation was an aspiration and not African National Congress (ANC) policy, Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti said on Tuesday.
Briefing journalists on several bills addressing land reform, an emotive issue in South Africa, Nkwinti said expropriation without compensation was on the agenda during a Cabinet lekgotla before president Jacob Zuma delivered his state of the nation address in February.
Foreigners would however be able to lease land. Nkwinti gave the assurance that “there will be no arbitrary taking away of their land”.
Asked whether this proposed law would apply retrospectively, Nkwinti said they would approach the courts to seek advice.
“We said as a department we would seek a declaratory order on that point because South African law will not accept or agree that you dispossess somebody without just equitable compensation so we are mindful of that,” he said.
A key feature of the bill is the creation of a Land Commission which would register all agricultural holdings in the country with owners having to provide details of their race, gender, and nationality.
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