Mixed reactions from Tshwane residents at land expropriation hearings
There were mixed reactions from Tshwane residents at the constitutional review committee's last leg of public hearings in Gauteng on Saturday.
Some residents argued for an amendment of Section 25 of the Constitution - which outlines property rights - to allow for land expropriation without compensation.
Others said an amendment would negatively affect agricultural and economic processes in the country and that the State‚ because of widespread corruption‚ could not be trusted with curatorship.
Omphile Maotwe was one of the residents who supported an amendment.
"As Africans‚ we remain a conquered nation. For us to be able to live peacefully‚ let us return the land to its rightful owners. We need the land. We don't want to be pushed to the point where we will take the land by force‚" she said.
Another resident‚ Lena Sekhati‚ had a similar view.
"Black people were pushed away from fertile land. Our lives as people are not safe because we are the targets of tuberculosis and other diseases as we live in crowded areas. We need the land back because when government built RDP houses‚ we were packed in‚" she said.
But Marcia Makqopa said she would not support an amendment because the state could not be trusted as a curator of land.
"I lost trust in our government. The current government is the same one that sold us to the Guptas. After 1994‚ South Africans and government received the land but the leaders are the ones who bought the land for themselves. I do believe in land reform but not an amendment‚" she said.
Philip Van Staden said land was not stolen by white people.
"Land was not stolen‚ legal owners have the right to it. The principle of willing buyer‚ willing seller must be applied to all land reform. Only certain politicians in this country will benefit from this‚" he said.