A worldwide coalition of civil society groups have joined in condemning the South African government’s plans to amend the Constitution to allow property confiscation without compensation, otherwise known as “expropriation without compensation” – EWC. This is the latest setback for the government after reports that it is struggling to amass enough parliamentary votes to carry its amendment through.
The coalition, formed around the international Property Rights Alliance (PRA), is made up of 30 entities, including the Free Market Foundation (FMF) in South Africa.
In an open letter to South Africans assuring them that they “do not stand alone against confiscation”, the coalition is “calling for the protection of property rights in South Africa.”
The letter and condemnations follow after the South African government has proposed amending the country’s Constitution to allow the confiscation (i.e., compensationless seizure, erroneously called “expropriation”) of private property. The PRA press release reads, “Currently this proposal only applies to fixed property, but it could easily set a precedent for the seizure of intellectual property as well.”
The amendment of the Constitution, argues the letter, would “exponentially increase the power of the state, make a mockery of the idea that each citizen is equal in the eyes of the law, and entrench the already endemic corruption that characterises the civil service.”
The coalition says it supports ordinary South Africans whose rights would be harmed by the constitutional change, and strongly condemns the South African government’s plans to implement EWC. “The right to private property is a human right that must be protected both within South Africa and around the world,” according to the PRA.
The PRA’s Lorenzo Montanari says:
“The people of South Africa should be supported not only by sympathetic organizations around the world, but also by the international community of nations. The world rejected authoritarianism in South Africa in the last century, and must do so again. Property rights are the backbone of any free society; removing property rights means removing the most important guarantee of freedom for each person. Property rights are the lighthouse of any democracy.”
The FMF’s Chris Hattingh thanked the PRA and the groups that signed the condemnation. “The people of South Africa [have] exhausted all avenues for reasonable discourse with government to get it to abandon this ill-fated policy”, and thus arose the necessity to appeal to the international community.
The right to own property is as close as you could get to the right to own your physical body and its limbs.
There will be mass murder in South Africa if EWC is ever implemented. Property owners will NEVER give up their ground without being paid a fair price for it. They used their OWN money to purchase the ground in the first place. The ANC government wants to confiscate ALL the ground so they can RENT it back to the people, so they will have the finances to keep themselves in power for eternity !!!
It is another money making scheme for this corrupt government as they don’t have avenues to generate money for their own greed.
Does not the state already tax (viz EWC) our hard-earned private property of wages, salaries, interest, profits, dividends, capital gains, building + land rents and consumption?
EWC is state robbery. But if the state captured our unearned land rents instead (and gave us back the above) that would be expropriation WITH compensation.
And that makes ZA a tax-haven. Foreign and local direct investors adore these. And when state revenue is confined to land rents the entry cost becomes an affordable market rent, as sec 25.5 demands. With a p/e ratio of 16 years, that makes land affordable at every income level. Whilst sec 228 prohibits taxes which makes land unaffordable to some.
EWC is Fraudulent, Contravenes International Law, New Research Claims
[…] government’s confiscation plans — also known as expropriation without compensation, or EWC — as it currently stands, amounts to legal fraud (fraus legis), because it is attempting to […]