Re-examining the Constitutional Court's Approach to the Property Question Since First National Bank of SA Ltd T/A Wesbank v Commissioner, South African Revenue Service; First National Bank of SA Ltd T/A Wesbank v Minister of Finance 2002 4 SA 768 (CC)

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.17159/1727-3781/2022/v25ia11756

Keywords:

Property, deprivation, constitutional property law, property question

Abstract

The First National Bank of SA Ltd t/a Wesbank v Commissioner, South African Revenue Service; First National Bank of SA Ltd t/a Wesbank v Minister of Finance 2002 4 SA 768 (CC) (FNB) decision led to the development of several questions that need to be answered when deciding whether there had been a deprivation of property for the purposes of section 25(1) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (the Constitution). The first question that needs to be asked when deciding whether there has been deprivation is whether that which was taken away from the property holder qualified as property for the purposes of section 25(1).

It appears that the Court in post-FNB case law fails to decide the first question in a principled manner. In some cases the Court simply assumed that the interests at issue were property for the purposes of section 25 without a thorough investigation or clear guidelines regarding whether such interests were indeed property. Analysis of post-FNB case law also indicates that there are seemingly two approaches that may need to be followed to decide complicated categories of property interest. The Court has not made it clear which approach should be followed.

In this article, I examine the Constitutional Court's approach to deciding what property is for section 25(1) purposes. The purpose is to determine how and to what extent the Court has decided what constitutes property for constitutional purposes. After an examination of the FNB decision and post-FNB case law, as well as analysing academic criticism, I suggest guidelines that the Court may follow to decide what constitutes property for section 25(1) purposes in future cases.

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References

Literature

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Case law

Agri South Africa v Minister of Minerals and Energy 2013 4 SA 1 (CC)

Arun Property Development (Pty) Ltd v Cape Town City 2015 2 SA 544 (CC)

Chevron SA (Pty) Limited v Wilson t/a Wilson's Transport 2015 10 BCLR 1158 (CC)

Cool Ideas 1186 CC v Hubbard 2014 4 SA 474 (CC)

Du Toit v Minister of Transport 2006 1 SA 297 (CC)

Ex parte Chairperson of the Constitutional Assembly: In re Certification of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 1996 4 SA 744 (CC)

Ex parte Optimal Property Solutions CC 2003 2 SA 136 (C)

First National Bank of SA Ltd t/a Wesbank v Commissioner, South African Revenue Service; First National Bank of SA Ltd t/a Wesbank v Minister of Finance 2002 4 SA 768 (CC)

Law Society of South Africa v Minister for Transport 2011 1 SA 400 (CC)

Laugh It Off Promotions CC v South African Breweries International (Finance) BV t/a Sabmark International 2006 1 SA 144 (CC)

Mkontwana v Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality; Bissett v Buffalo City Municipality; Transfer Rights Action Campaign v MEC, Local Government and Housing, Gauteng, (KwaZulu-Natal Law Society and Msunduzi Municipality as Amici Curiae) 2005 1 SA 530 (CC)

National Credit Regulator v Opperman 2013 2 SA 1 (CC)

Phumelela Gaming and Leisure Ltd v Gründlingh 2007 6 SA 350 (CC)

Port Elizabeth Municipality v Various Occupiers 2005 1 SA 217 (CC)

Shoprite Checkers (Pty) Ltd v Member of the Executive Council for Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism: Eastern Cape 2015 6 SA 125 (CC)

South African Diamond Producers Organisation v Minister of Minerals and Energy 2017 6 SA 331 (CC)

Tshwane City v Link Africa (Pty) Ltd 2015 6 SA 440 (CC)

Legislation

Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996

Customs and Excise Act 91 of 1994

Diamond Act 56 of 1986 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1086/601731

Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act 28 of 2002

Published

2022-06-03

How to Cite

Sono , N. . (2022). Re-examining the Constitutional Court’s Approach to the Property Question Since First National Bank of SA Ltd T/A Wesbank v Commissioner, South African Revenue Service; First National Bank of SA Ltd T/A Wesbank v Minister of Finance 2002 4 SA 768 (CC). Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal, 25, (Published 3 June 2022) pp 1 – 30. https://doi.org/10.17159/1727-3781/2022/v25ia11756

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Section

Articles