Watch out Chief Molepo and Chief Mamabolo, the government isnt really your friend.

1020314_841545

Tomorrow is the deadline for public comment on the Expropriation Bill, which would give the minister of public works sweeping powers to expropriate private property – ranging from homes to business premises, and even shares and other investments – “in the public interest”.

Critics of the proposed legislation say it is vague and could severely damage the country’s investment credentials.

But yesterday Deputy Minister of Public Works Jeremy Cronin told The Times that the bill “makes sense” in the context of South Africa’s “historical reality”.

Part of that reality was revisited yesterday when tens of thousands of Zion Christian Church members gathered in Pretoria for a prayer meeting to mark the centenary of the enactment of the 1913 Land Act.

The act is widely regarded as the trigger of a series of laws of dispossession that later became the apartheid system, which limited black South Africans’ fixed property purchases to “scheduled black areas”.

Cronin said the bill would be better suited to land reform than the current Expropriation Act, which dates back to 1975.

He said the government would not “whimsically” expropriate once the bill was enacted.

But Manus Booysen, a partner at law firm Webber Wentzel, warned that the bill, if enacted in its current form, would “have severe implications for property rights”.

Respect for property rights and intellectual property protection were listed among the country’s strengths in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report for 2013.

South Africa came 26th among 144 countries on protection of property rights and 20th on the protection of intellectual property, the report showed.

Property, Booysen said, was so broadly defined in the bill that it would include movable assets such as vehicles and works of art. It also refers to “a right in, or to, property”.

“This means that shares in a company, as well as various rights in property – including intellectual property rights and incorporeal property – could be expropriated under the bill,” said Booysen.

On compensation, Booysen said “there is no guarantee that you will get market value”.

The bill lists several factors that a court should take into account when considering the validity of an expropriation – and market value is just one of them.

The list is not exhaustive, meaning that “any other factor” could also be taken into account.

This, Booysen argued, would create uncertainty and was “a deterrent to both foreign local investment in this country”.

The bill does more than merely empower the minister to expropriate property for a “public purpose”, as provided for in the current act.

It also allows the minister to expropriate property in the “public interest”.

Though this is in line with the constitution, Booysen said the bill did not provide additional criteria to help in the assessment of what would be in the “public interest”.

But Cronin downplayed this, saying expropriation could still be challenged in court “if [the expropriation] is just to enrich somebody’s cousin”.

Cronin said the definition of property was deliberately kept “general” and that the bill was drafted on legal advice “to not get trapped into a definition”.

The DA’s spokesman on public works, Anchen Dreyer, said she was concerned that the bill, if it became law, would undermine security of property ownership.

“Security of ownership is essential for investment, foreign as well as domestic, and for starting or expanding businesses. If this right is tampered with, there will be little growth, with an adverse effect on job creation,” she said.

The bill succeeds a 2008 version, which was withdrawn towards the end of that year because of concerns in the consultation stages that it would severely damage the property market and discourage investment.

Cronin said that the bill was still being discussed by the National Economic Development and Labour Council.

http://www.timeslive.co.za/thetimes/2013/04/29/threat-to-property

Advertisements

Molepo Dam eyed for development?

images

3. TOURISM : Tourism development at Molepo Dam
Opportunity An opportunity exists to create an attractive destination for tourists, around the Molepo Dam.
Nature of the Project It is proposed that the development will consist of:
• 40 bedroom lodge at 2-star level
• Conference Hall
• Restaurantt
• Shop
• Education Centre
• Campsite
• Water-based activities
Rationale for this venture The infrastructure around the dam is well developed as water and electricity readily available. There is also a recently tarred road leading to the dam.
Attractiveness Assessment The product that is offered in the Molepo development contains various elements such as:
• Accommodation facilities
• Conference centre
• Restaurant
• Kiosk and shop
• Education centre
• Water based activities.
There are 126 tourist accommodation establishments in Capricorn District, with the biggest proportion being hotels/motels (26.4%) and 3 star facilities (46.9%).
Opportunity Alignment Limpopo’s Tourism Growth Strategy identifies six priority tourism clusters to drive tourism growth in the province. The clusters are:
• Family and recreation
• Mega-conservation
• Safari and hunting
• Golf and game
• MICE (meeting, incentives, conference and events, or business tourism)
• Special interest.
Key Competitive Advantage The development at Molepo will attract tourists who travel along the R71 to the Magoebaskloof area. This route is also used to get to the northern parts of the Kruger National Park. It will provide 64% of the rooms in the market, however the target markets are different between the Molepo end the existing competitors.
Potential Economic Impact The Molepo Dam development is projected to require 50 employees. The project will therefore create job opportunities, promote entrepreneurship and encourage skills training of the labourers.
Investment Requirements The Molepo development is financially viable. The initial investment needed is projected at R13.5 million. Gross operating revenue is projected to reach over R11 million and profit projected at over R3 million by year five. The project has an ungeared, pre-tax IRR of 18.8%..
Linkages The approximate investment for the proposed project is set on R13.5 million (at 2008 prices).
Note: Molepo Dam and Sego Game Reserve can be undertaken as a single investment opportunity because of their close proximity to each other.

Contact Us
URBAN-ECON, PRETORIA
Danie van der Merwe
Tel: 012 342 8686
danie@urban-econ.com

Contact Us
Capricorn District Municipality
Ellen Mashakoe
Tel: 082 781 4768
mashakoee@cdm.org.za