Land Claims Act must be brought in line with Constitution‚ says DA

31 August 2016 - 19:27 By TMG Digital


The Democratic Alliance says it will appeal to the Rural Development and Land Reform portfolio committee to take every procedural step available to it to ensure the Land Restitution Act‚ declared unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court‚ is finally brought in line with the Constitution. This includes ensuring proper timeframes are put in place; budgets are made available; legislative clarity is sought and proactive engagement coupled with genuine dialogue outside of election cycles takes place‚ the party said on Wednesday.This follows the committee meeting on Wednesday where MPs were briefed on the recent Constitutional Court finding that the legislative process resulting in the Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Act - signed into law by President Jacob Zuma in July 2014 - was unconstitutional. “This finding was based on clear evidence led in court of overly truncated public participation processes‚ misinformation within this process as well as poor drafting. “It resulted in the legislation being referred back to Parliament to repeat the process of drafting a law‚” said DA spokesperson on rural development and land reform Thomas Walters. It also found that new claims had to be left unresolved in favour of resolving claims that are still outstanding from the first window for land claims (pre 1998) “In committee the DA referred to this as a disgrace; pointing out how this rushed process correlates strongly to the 2014 national election campaign and how hopes were dashed and taxpayer money wasted. “We maintain that the ANC abused the reopening of Land claims in a cynical election ploy- as the medium term expenditure framework shows - by not at any stage significantly funding this piece of legislation and its consequences since 2014‚” said Walters. “South Africans have‚ for far too long‚ been seeking justice in this regard and have instead been lied to by a government with no intention to provide real redress for a hurtful past by abusing this pain cynically for electoral gains‚” he added.

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