Zuma’s return of Expropriation Bill ‘a delay tactic’‚ could have been prevented - opposition
It was embarrassing to know that President Jacob Zuma had on Friday returned the Expropriation Bill back to Parliament for additional work‚ said the Democratic Alliance.
Two years have passed since the Bill was first introduced to Parliament.
Zuma’s office said he had referred the Bill back to the National Assembly because‚ in his view‚ Parliament failed to ensure adequate public participation during the processing of the Bill as required by the Constitution.
This was just days after he had said the amendment of the Expropriation Act will help speed up the process of land reform.
DA MP John Steenhuisen said the return of the Bill to Parliament could have been prevented.
“This is a poor reflection on Parliament. We could have avoided this mess if the opposition had been listened to‚” said Steenhuisen.
The DA had argued that further consultations were needed before the Bill was to be passed.
UDM leader Bantu Holomisa did not have much to say about the developments‚ except that it was probably “a delay tactic”.
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF)‚ which has been vocal on its call for land expropriation without compensation‚ told TimesLIVE it was not aware of the delays in the processing of the Bill.
EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said the same problems they had had with the Bill “back then” still existed.
The Bill provides for the expropriation of land for a public purpose such as building a road or a dam‚ erecting a power line and to institute land reform.
In the last 24 months‚ the Bill went through public hearings where organisations such as the South African Institute of Race Relations‚ Eskom‚ the Centre for Constitutional Rights‚ the National African Farmers’ Union and the Banking Association South Africa made submissions.
The Southern African Catholics Bishops Conference‚ Business Unity South Africa‚ AgriSA‚ the South African Property Owners Association‚ the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry‚ the Institute of Valuers‚ Geomatics Institute and labour federation Cosatu also made submissions.
Numerous deliberations and amendments were made to the Bill before it was passed by the National Assembly and sent to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) a year after it was first introduced.
In May 2016‚ the NCOP passed the Bill and referred it back to the National Assembly. In the same month‚ the Bill was passed by Parliament and referred to Zuma.
Two months later‚ Zuma put the brakes on the Bill after he received petitions about the process followed by Parliament.
And today‚ almost seven months later‚ he has referred the Bill back to Parliament.