The right of way of necessity : a constitutional analysis

Raphulu, Tshilidzi Norman (2013-12)

Thesis (LLM)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The right of way of necessity is a special type of praedial servitude that is established over neighbouring property in favour of landlocked property – that is, property without access to a public road. The purpose of granting the landlocked property a right of access to a public road is so that it can be put to efficient use. The servitude is created by operation of law and it binds the surrounding properties as of right at the moment when the property becomes landlocked. It can, however, be enforced only against a specific neighbouring property. This servitude can only be enforced by way of a court order, against the will of the owner of the neighbouring property. This servitude, specifically the manner in which it is established, may raise significant constitutional issues as regards the property clause of the South African Constitution. Therefore, it was necessary to investigate the constitutionality of the right of way of necessity in view of section 25 of the Constitution. To this end, the study provides an overview of the law relating to the right of way of necessity and the general principles regulating this servitude in South African law. Subsequently, the justifications for the right of way of necessity and specifically for allowing the courts to enforce this servitude are analysed in terms of public policy, jurisprudential views and law and economics theory. The conclusion is reached that, in terms of these justifications, there are sufficient policy, social, and economic reasons for having the right of way of necessity and for the courts to enforce it without cooperation and against the will of the affected servient property owner. These justifications are used to examine the constitutionality of the right of way of necessity, specifically to determine whether the enforcement of this servitude by court order constitutes a section 25(1) arbitrary deprivation or even a section 25(2) expropriation of the affected owner’s property rights. The study concludes that the granting of the right of way of necessity will not amount to an expropriation and, following the FNB methodology, does not constitute arbitrary deprivation of property either. Therefore, if all the requirements are met, the granting of a right of way of necessity will be constitutionally compliant.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die saaklike serwituut wat ten gunste van grond wat van openbare verkeersweë afgesny is (blokland) oor naburige eiendom gevestig word, staan bekend as noodweg. Die rede waarom toegang tot ’n openbare pad aan blokland toegeken word, is sodat die grond effektief gebruik kan word. Hierdie serwituut word deur regswerking geskep en dit bind omringende eiendomme vanaf die oomblik dat die blokland van openbare verkeersweë afgesluit word. Dit kan egter slegs teen ’n spesifieke naburige eiendom afgedwing word. Die serwituut kan slegs deur middel van ’n hofbevel afgedwing word, teen die eienaar van die naburige eiendom se wil. Wat die eiendomsklousule van die Suid-Afrikaanse Grondwet betref, kan hierdie serwituut en veral die wyse waarop dit gevesig word belangrike grondwetlike vrae opper. In die lig van artikel 25 van die Grondwet was dit dus nodig om die grondwetlike geldigheid van noodweg te toets. Om hierdie doel te bereik, verskaf die studie’n oorsig van die regsbeginsels aangaande noodweg en die algemene beginsels van hierdie serwituut in die Suid-Afrikaanse reg. Met verwysing na openbare beleid, regsfilosofiese benaderings en Law and Economics-teorie analiseer die tesis vervolgens die regverdigingsgronde vir noodweg, spesifiek vir die feit dat die howe dit afdwing. Die gevolgtrekking is dat daar ingevolge hierdie regverdigingsgronde genoegsame beleids-, sosiale en ekonomiese redes bestaan vir die serwituut van noodweg en vir die howe se bevoegdheid om dit sonder die dienende eienaar se medewerking en teen sy wil af te dwing. Hierdie regverdigingsgronde word gebruik om die grondwetlike geldigheid van noodweg te ondersoek, spesifiek om vas te stel of die afdwinging daarvan neerkom op ’n arbitrêre ontneming vir doeleindes van artikel 25(1) of op ’n onteiening vir doeleindes van artikel 25(2) van die Grondwet. Hierdie studie kom tot die slotsom dat die toestaan van ’n noodweg nie as ’n onteiening kwalifiseer nie en dat dit, indien die FNB-metodologie nagevolg word, ook nie op ’n arbitrêre ontneming van eiendom neerkom nie. Indien al die vereistes nagekom word, sal die toestaan van ’n noodweg dus aan die Grondwet voldoen.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/85634
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