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Land expropriation without compensation is not a Gordian knot. It can be solved. In the past few days, as the ANC and the EFF joined forces to agree to amend the Constitution, panic has surged through the country, with the end of food production, capitalism and the world as we know it being predicted. But it is possible for expropriation without compensation to co-exist with property and ownership rights. This is how. At issue is section 25 of the Constitution. Section 25 (2) says: "Property may be expropriated only in terms of law of general application — (a) for a public purpose or in the public interest; (b) subject to compensation, the amount of which and the time and manner of payment of which have either been agreed to by those affected or decided or approved by a court." In section 25(3) the criteria for compensation are set out: "The amount of the compensation … must be just and equitable, reflecting an equitable balance between the public interest and the interest of those ...

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