1. The FW de Klerk Foundation is a non-profit organisation whose mission it is to promote and preserve FW de Klerk’s presidential heritage by supporting the causes for which he worked during his Presidency. The Foundation promotes unity in diversity by working for cordial inter-community relations and national unity through the activities of the Centre for Unity in Diversity. The Foundation also supports and promotes the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Rule of Law through the activities of the Centre for Constitutional Rights.
2. Accordingly, the Foundation endeavours to contribute positively to the promotion and protection of our constitutional democracy. This includes the achievement of real and substantive equality and equitable access to land and other resources, with due regard for those rights concerning property and administrative action that is lawful, reasonable and procedurally fair, as provided for in the Constitution.
3. The Foundation accordingly welcomes the opportunity to make a concise submission on the Expropriation Bill and notes that the relevant constitutional imperatives that inform this submission are contained in section 25 of the Constitution.
4. The content of the submission is informed by the draft Expropriation Bill, 2019, (published inthe Government Gazette 42127, 21 December 2018), which seeks to repeal the Expropriation Act of 1975.However, the political context within which the discussion of the Draft Bill ensues - including the work of the multi-party ad hoccommittee on the amendment to section 25 of the Constitution - is of great significance to our assessment herein.
5. The Foundation strongly asserts the principle that property rights, including the right to own land and other assets, remain a cornerstone of our constitutional democracy and any attempt to effect expropriation without compensation is counter to the letter and spirit of the Constitution. This principled position informs our submission.
6. We trust that our submission will be of assistance to the Department of Public Works in its deliberations on the Bill.
7. The Foundation is available to make oral submissions as necessary.
Issued by the FW de Klerk Foundation
21 February 2019