The justification of expropriation for economic development

Slade, Bradley Virgill (2012-12)

Thesis (LLD)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Section 25(2) of the 1996 Constitution states that property may only be expropriated for a public purpose or in the public interest and compensation must be paid. This dissertation analyses the public purpose and public interest requirement in light of recent court decisions, especially with regard to third party transfer of expropriated property for economic development purposes. The public purpose requirement is explained in terms of pre-constitutional case law to create a context in which to understand the public purpose and public interest in terms of the 1996 Constitution. This leads to a discussion of whether third party transfers for economic development purposes are generally for a public purpose or in the public interest. The legitimacy of the purpose of both the expropriation and the transfer of property to third parties in order to realise the purpose is considered. Conclusions from a discussion of foreign case law dealing with the same question are used to analyse the South African cases where third party transfers for economic development have been addressed. Based on the overview of foreign case law and the critical analysis of South African cases, the dissertation sets out guidelines that should be taken into account when this question comes up again in future. The dissertation also considers whether an expropriation can be set aside if alternative means, other than expropriating the property, are available that would also promote the purpose for which the property was expropriated. Recent decisions suggest that alternative and less invasive measures are irrelevant when the expropriation is clearly for a public purpose. However, the dissertation argues that less invasive means should be considered in cases where it is not immediately clear that the expropriation is for a valid public purpose or in the public interest, such as in the case of a third party transfer for economic development. The role of the public purpose post-expropriation is considered with reference to purposes that are not realised or are abandoned and subsequently changed. In this regard the dissertation considers whether the state is allowed to change the purpose for which the property was expropriated, and also under which circumstances the previous owner would be entitled to reclaim the expropriated property when the public purpose that justifies the expropriation falls away. It is contended that the purpose can be changed, but that the new purpose must also comply with the constitutional requirements.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Artikel 25(2) van die Grondwet van 1996 vereis dat `n onteining slegs vir `n openbare doel of in die openbare belang mag plaasvind, en dat vergoeding betaalbaar is. In die proefskrif word die openbare doel en openbare belang geanaliseer in die lig van onlangse regspraak wat veral verband hou met die onteining van grond wat oorgedra word aan derde partye vir doeleindes van ekonomiese ontwikkeling. Die openbare doel vereiste word geanaliseer in die lig van respraak voor die aanvang van die grondwetlike bedeling om beide die openbare doel en openbare belang in terme van die Grondwet van 1996 te verstaan. Op grond van hierdie bespreking word die vraag ondersoek of die onteiening van grond vir ekonomiese ontwikkeling en die oordrag daarvan aan derde partye vir `n openbare doel of in die openbare belang is. Gevolgtrekkings uit `n oorsig van buitelandse respraak waarin dieselfde vraag reeds behandel is dien as maatstaf vir die Suid-Afrikaanse regspraak oor die vraag te evalueer. Op grond van die kritiese analise van die buitelandse regspraak word sekere aanbevelings gemaak wat in ag geneem behoort te word indien so `n vraag weer na vore kom. Die vraag of `n onteiening ter syde gestel kan word omdat daar `n alternatiewe, minder ingrypende manier is om die openbare doel te bereik word ook in die proefskrif aangespreek. In onlangse regspraak word aangedui dat die beskikbaarheid van ander, minder ingrypende maniere irrelevant is as die onteiening vir `n openbare doel of in die openbare belang geskied. Daar word hier aangevoer dat die beskikbaarheid van alternatiewe metodes in ag geneem behoort te word in gevalle waar dit onduidelik is of die onteining vir `n openbare doel of in die openbare belang geskied, soos in die geval van oordrag van grond aan derde partye vir ekonomiese ontwikkelingsdoeleindes. Ter aansluiting by die vraag of die onteining van grond vir oordrag aan derdes vir ekonomiese ontwikkeling geldig is, word die funksie van die openbare doel na onteiening ook ondersoek. Die vraag is of die staat geregtig is om die doel waarvoor die eiendom onteien is na afloop van die onteiening te verander. Die vraag in watter gevalle die vorige eienaar van die grond teruggawe van die grond kan eis word ook aangespreek. Daar word aangevoer dat die staat die doel waarvoor die eiendom benut word kan verander, maar dat die nuwe doel ook moet voldoen aan die grondwetlike vereistes.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/71965
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