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Expropriation without compensation, land reform and justice in South Africa

Presenter: Prof. Ruth Hall
PLAAS, University of the Western Cape

The phrase “land expropriation without compensation” gained prominence in South African debates about land reform, property rights and constitutional amendment. The growing centrality of EWC as a political signifier—a meme of sorts—can be traced from the EFF’s entry into electoral politics in 2014, gathering pace in 2016 amid political divisions in the ruling party, at the ANC’s elective conference in 2017, to the parliamentary vote to establish a Constitutional Review Committee in February 2018, the Presidential Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture, through to Parliament’s current Ad Hoc Committee on Section 25.

Key questions around EWC include: Why is EWC needed? When can or should it be done? What problems can and can’t it solve? And who will benefit from it? The seminar will look at the diverse meanings and politics of EWC evident in public discourse, as well as their historical precursors. Three distinct logics for EWC are identified, each associated with a specific political tradition. The presentation also looks at how EWC has been advanced, and considers what its role might be in social and economic transformation, post-apartheid redress and redistributive justice.

A Bill to amend this “property clause” was published in December 2019 and the deadline for public comment is this week 29 February 2020.

Date: Tuesday, 25 February 2020
Time: 13h00-14h00
Venue: PLAAS Boardroom, 2nd Floor Main Hall, University of the Western Cape

For more information contact:
Babongile Malama Tel: 021 959 3733 or

PLAAS is situated on the 2nd Floor Main Hall at the University of the Western Cape.