The Institute of Race Relations has long argued that expropriation without compensation – as currently contemplated by the Gauteng provincial government – will do nothing other than place a very large obstacle before SA’s efforts to attract the investment the economy so desperately needs. According to Gauteng Premier David Makhura, "we can expropriate land without compensation with immediate effect to test the Constitution" (Gauteng to target private land immediately ‘to test Constitution’, June 20). His colleague, infrastructure MEC Jacob Mamabolo, added that this would be aimed "in the main [at] privately owned land and not just government-owned land". Although this has been qualified by the rider that it is "idle" land that is in the crosshairs, this is unlikely to reassure nervous investors. The stated and intentional targeting of private property sends a negative message about the security of investments. This is a subject of considerable concern in SA. It has also attracted a ...

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