Over 700‚000 submissions on land expropriation received
The parliamentary joint constitutional review committee tasked with reviewing Section 25 of the Constitution dealing with the right of property ownership has had to procure a service provider to assist with analysing the huge number of submissions it has received.
The committee said on Sunday that more than 700‚000 electronic and hard copy submissions had been received by the closing date for written submissions‚ which was June 15.
The committee earlier this year called for written public submissions on the review of section 25 of the Constitution and other sections where necessary‚ to make it possible for the state to expropriate land in the public interest without compensation.
The original deadline for submissions was May 31‚ but it was later extended to June 15.
“Due to the extraordinarily huge volume of submissions‚ and the importance of ensuring that each and every submission from the public is given deserved consideration by Parliament‚ the committee is in the process of augmenting its internal capacity by procuring a service provider to assist with analyzing the submissions.
“One of the requirements for the service provider will be that a receipt of submissions is acknowledged mainly through emails‚ SMSes and any other way possible. Proof of this will be kept for further reference.
The committee resolved that only clearly identifiable submissions that can be traced back to a name‚ cellphone number or email address‚ will be considered‚” the committee said. “If the author of the submission cannot be identified‚ it will not be accepted as a legitimate submission‚” it added.
The committee said that a final draft of the report was expected to be submitted by August 3‚ by which date the committee would have concluded its public hearings in the provinces and would be heading back to Parliament to continue its work.
“Once the committee returns to Parliament in Cape Town‚ public hearings are expected to be held over 10 days‚ until August 17 2018‚ with individuals or organisations who have made written submissions and have‚ in addition‚ requested to do oral submissions. During September‚ the committee will deliberate on its draft report before tabling its recommendations to the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces‚” it added.