Development of the law regarding inaedificatio : a constitutional analysis

Sono, Nhlanhla Lucky (2014-12)

Thesis (LLM)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Inaedificatio entails that movables that have been permanently attached to land through building cease to exist as independent things and become part of the land. Courts have adopted different approaches over time to investigate whether or not inaedificatio had occurred. It is sometimes said that courts have moved away from the so-called traditional approach, which focused on the objective factors, to the so-called new approach, which places more emphasis on the subjective intention of the owner of the movables. This thesis analyses the applicable case law and concludes that there is inadequate proof of such a shift since both older cases associated with the traditional approach and later cases associated with the new approach emphasise the intention of the owner of the movables to establish whether accession had taken place. However, the case law does allow for a cautious different conclusion, namely that a certain line of both older and new cases emphasise the owner of the movable’s intention for commercial policy reasons, specifically to protect ownership of the movables in cases where ownership had been reserved in a credit sale contract. Constitutional analysis of these conclusions in view of the FNB methodology indicates that the courts’ decision to hold that accession had in fact occurred in cases that do involve permanent attachment of movables to land will generally establish deprivation of property for purposes of section 25(1) of the Constitution, but such deprivation would generally not be arbitrary since there would be sufficient reason for it. However, in cases where the courts decide that there was no accession because ownership of the movables had been reserved subject to a credit sale agreement, there is no deprivation of property because the landowner, who is the only one who might complain about the decision, could not prove a property interest for purposes of section 25(1). Moreover, the courts’ decision that accession had either occurred or not does not amount to expropriation under section 25(2) of the Constitution because there is no common law authority for expropriation. Therefore, the principal conclusion of the thesis is that the courts’ decision that accession had either occurred or not would generally be in line with the property clause of the Constitution.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Inaedificatio behels dat roerende sake wat permanent deur bebouing aan grond vasgeheg is ophou bestaan as selfstandige sake en deel word van die grond. Die howe het in die verlede verskillende benaderings gevolg in hulle pogings om vas te stel of inaedificatio plaasgevind het. Daar word soms beweer dat die howe wegbeweeg het van die sogenaamde tradisionele benadering, wat op die objektiewe faktore gefokus het, na die sogenaamde nuwe benadering waarin die klem op die eienaar van die roerende goed se bedoeling val. Hierdie verhandeling analiseer die toepaslike regspraak en kom tot die gevolgtrekking dat daar onvoldoende bewys van so ‘n verskuiwing bestaan, aangesien sowel ouer sake wat met die tradisionele benadering geassosieer word en later regspraak wat die nuwe benadering sou volg klem op die eienaar van die roerende sake se bedoeling plaas. Die regspraak bied wel bewyse vir ‘n versigtige gevolgtrekking op ‘n ander punt, naamlik dat bepaalde ouer en later sake die eienaar van die roerende goed se bedoeling vir kommersiële beleidsredes beklemtoon, spesifiek in gevalle waar eiendomsreg in ‘n kredietkoop voorbehou is. Grondwetlike analise van hierdie gevolgtrekkings in die lig van die FNB-metodologie suggereer dat die howe se beslissing dat aanhegting wel plaasgevind het in gevalle waar permanente aanhegting van roerende goed aan grond ter sprake was oor die algemeen ‘n ontneming van eiendom vir doeleindes van artikel 25(1) van die Grondwet sal daarstel, maar aangesien daar oor die algemeen voldoende rede vir die ontneming is sal dit nie arbitrêr wees nie. Aan die ander kant, waar die howe beslis dat daar geen aanhegting was nie omdat eiendomsreg van die roerende goed vir sekerheid onderhewig aan ‘n kredietkoop voorbehou is, is daar geen ontneming van eiendom nie omdat die grondeienaar, die enigste party wat beswaar teen die beslissing mag maak, nie ‘n eiendomsbelang vir doeleindes van artikel 25(1) kan bewys nie. Verder stel die howe se beslissing dat aanhegting óf plaasgevind het al dan nie in elk geval geen onteiening daar nie aangesien daar geen magtiging vir onteiening in die gemenereg bestaan nie. Die gevolgtrekking van die verhandeling is dat die howe se beslissing dat aanhegting óf plaasgevind het al dan nie oor die algemeen nie in stryd met die eiendomsbepaling in die Grondwet sal wees nie.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/95856
This item appears in the following collections: