Revising the Procedure for Expropriations in South Africa: 2015 Bill and 1975 Act compared

  • 1 DST/NRF SARChI Research Chair: Mineral Law in Africa, University of Cape Town; Visiting Professor, Dept of Private and Notary Law, Rijksuniversiteit GroningenNetherlands
Hanri Mostert


This article comments on the procedural novations in South Africa’s latest Expropriation Bill (2015), which is awaiting presidential signature. It questions the need for a revision of the scale envisaged by the Bill and concludes that the motivation for introducing a new generation of expropriation law is not primarily because the existing law is “of preconstitutional vintage” but rather because of far-reaching changes envisioned in government’s policies on land and agricultural reform. The analysis includes a comparison of the structure and content of the 2015 Bill and the existing Expropriation Act of 1975. It focuses particularly on the process envisaged by the Bill, and scrutinises the additional steps in the process added for accountability in the pre-expropriation phase: investigation, state consultation and notification. In conclusion the analysis is critical of the poor attempts at involving the expropriatee as a key stakeholder in consultations which should be formative of the decision to expropriate.

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The EPLJ focuses on private and public law aspects of land, movables, claims and new objects of property law, such as virtual property. Articles are based upon comparative legal analysis and examine property law from a European perspective. This includes not only the multidisciplinary study of property law and the effects of the EU internal market on the national property law systems, but also the philosophical and ideological aspects.