Browsing by Author "Strydom, Janke"
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- ItemA hundred years of demolition orders : a constitutional analysis(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2012-03-07) Strydom, Janke; Van der Walt, A. J.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Law. Dept. of Public Law.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Ownership, and especially the ownership of land, consists of rights as well as duties. The social responsibilities of the owner depend on the prevailing needs of the public (as expressed in legislation) and are subject to change. Section 25(1) of the Constitution impliedly recognises the social obligations of the property owner insofar as it confirms that ownership can be regulated by the state in the public interest. Section 25(1) also sets requirements for the interference with property rights and, in so doing, recognises that the social obligations of the property owner are not without boundaries. In its landmark FNB decision the Constitutional Court gave content and structure to a section 25(1) challenge. The Constitutional Court held that deprivations will be arbitrary for purposes of section 25(1) if the law of general application does not provide sufficient reason for the deprivation or is procedurally unfair. The Constitutional Court elaborated that ‘sufficient reason’ had to be determined with reference to eight contextual factors which reflect the complexity of the relationships involved in the dispute. With reference to section 25(1) and FNB this dissertation considers the constitutional implications of two types of statutory interference with the owner’s right to use, enjoy and exploit his property. Firstly, the dissertation considers the owner’s statutory duty in terms of the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act 103 of 1977 to demolish unlawful and illegal building works in certain instances. Secondly, the dissertation considers the limitations imposed by the National Heritage Resources Act of 25 of 1999 and the Prevention of Illegal Eviction from and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act 19 of 1998 (PIE) on the owner’s right to demolish historic or unlawfully occupied structures. This dissertation argues that building and development controls, historic preservation laws and anti-eviction legislation are legitimate exercises of the state’s police power. Generally, these statutory interferences with ownership will not amount to unconstitutional deprivation of property. Nevertheless, there are instances where regulatory laws cannot be applied inflexibly if doing so results in excessive interferences with property rights. The FNB substantive arbitrariness test indicates when the law imposes disproportionate burdens on land owners. Furthermore, the non-arbitrariness tests shows when it might be necessary to mitigate disproportionate burdens, imposed in terms of otherwise legitimate regulatory laws, by way of German-style equalisation measures, which are comparable to the constitutional damages granted by South African courts. This dissertation concludes that in the past century the South African legal system has progressed from the apartheid regime, which protected the rights and interests of the white minority, to a constitutional regime which safeguards the rights of all South Africans. There are two legal developments that may lead to positive change in the next century, namely active pursuance of the notion that ownership consists of rights and duties and the development of equalisation-style measures, incorporated into legislation, to alleviate excessive burdens imposed on property owners in the public interest.