30 May 2013
EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM ON THE PROPERTY VALUATION BILL 2013
- A central feature of the land redistribution and land restitution programme has been the acquisition of land on the basis of the ‘willing buyer willing seller (i.e. demand— driven and market —based) model, predominantly based upon the historical value at the time of dispossession. Through these programmes, Government has set the target of delivering 30% of commercial agricultural land, or about 25 million hectares, by 2015. To date only a quarter of the 30% target has been reached.
- A critical issue in both restitution and redistribution is that of escalating land prices. Escalating land prices have contributed significantly to the slow pace of land redistribution. This has in turn raised questions about the efficacy of the entire market- based land reform process and Government’s ability to participate therein without influencing the market and thus the land prices.
- Questions are increasingly being asked whether market-assisted land reform, based on the principle of willing-buyer-willing-seller, can deliver at the required scale and whether there needs to be greater Government intervention, including more willingness to use expropriation. It has been argued that letting the market alone determine the pace of land reform delivery is not desirable.
- One of the problems identified in government’s implementation of land reform programmes is the issue of valuations. By virtue of the willing-buyer-willing-seller principle, market value principles are applied when government acquires land for land reform purposes. Government is concerned that the principle of market value is not interpreted correctly and applied in a uniform manner, Further, it has become apparent that there is a need to property analyse and aggressively implement the framework of how to deal with land valuations and the determination of the purchase price which should be linked to in section 25(3) of the Constitution.
- In order to deal with the challenges outlined above, new legislation is required to give effect to the provisions of the Constitution which provide for land reform and land restitution and to facilitate land reform and land restitution through the valuation of property in order to determine the purchase price for or payment in respect of property.
Therefore the bill aims:
- to provide for the establishment, functions and powers of the Office of the Valuer-General;
- to provide for the appointment and responsibilities of the Valuer- General;
- to provide for the valuation of property that has been identified for land reform or expropriation for purposes of determining a value as well as property that has been identified for acquisition or disposal by a department, organ of state or a municipality;
- to provide for the establishment of a review committee to consider and decide on objections to valuations by the Office of the Valuer- General;
- to provide for the repeal of the Land Affairs Act and
- to provide for matters connected therewith.