Land Expropriation Without Compensation On Hold
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Land Expropriation Without Compensation On Hold

August 28, 2019

The Ad Hoc Committee to Amend Section 25 of
the Constitution, which is intended to allow for land expropriation without compensation,
has agreed to refer their work to the Sixth Parliament. The committee met on Wednesday 13 March 2019,
to finalise its report, and ANC MP, Vincent Smith, suggested that they include the recommendations
that the committee would not be able to complete its work by the end of the Fifth Parliament’s
term, and that the Sixth Parliament be tasked with amending the Constitution, to allow for
expropriation of land without compensation. The committee agreed with the recommendation,
that it could not complete its work before the National Assembly rises on 20 March 2019,
ahead of the general elections on 08 May 2019. However, DA MP, Annelie Lotriet, and ACDP
MP, Steve Swart, indicated that their parties reserved their positions regarding the recommendation
that the committee’s work be referred to the Sixth Parliament. The EFF has pushed that the amendment be completed
before the end of this parliamentary term. But, on Wednesday, not a single EFF MP attended
the meeting, just like at the committee’s previous two meetings. The committee’s report will be presented to
the National Assembly for deliberation and adoption. This was the committee’s final meeting. In its report, the committee also acknowledged
the contribution of the “experts”, who had made presentations at its previous two meetings. Former Constitutional Court Justice, Albie
Sachs, was one of these experts, and he said, that he was a “little alarmed” when he saw
the amendment had to be completed before the end of this term, when he addressed the committee
on 01 March 2019. He did, however, support amending Section
25, and described it as a “great moment” in South Africa’s history. At the same meeting, former tourism minister,
Valli Moosa, said that when the Constitution was drafted, Section 25 wasn’t included to
protect white people’s land ownership. He said it was included after much debate,
as one of the most painful things about apartheid, was how black people were removed from their
land without compensation. He also called on the committee to ensure
that South Africans understood what it was busy with. At last week’s meeting advocate, Tembeka Ngcukaitobi,
said that there was a need to think creatively about land reform, and to think of it “beyond
the mantra of expropriation without compensation”. He said, where redistribution had taken place,
it had benefitted elites, when it should benefit people who need land. Advocate Wim Trengove also addressed the committee,
and said it was safe to assume, that white ownership of land was the result of privilege,
and therefore the burden to prove the historical land-ownership rested on white people, where
it was unclear who originally owned the land. The committee was established last year, after
Parliament adopted the report of the Constitutional Review Committee, which recommended that Section
25 should be amended, to allow expropriation of land without compensation. Please check in the description box below,
for the links to the sources of this report. Thanks for watching. Please comment, like, share and subscribe.

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