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Changes to constitution for land expropriation get nod from MPs

15 November 2018 - 13:31 By THABO MOKONE
Parliamentary precinct
Parliamentary precinct
Image: GCIS

It's official. Section 25 of the constitution will soon be amended to allow for expropriation of land without compensation.

This comes after MPs serving on the  constitutional review committee (CRC) on Thursday adopted a resolution calling for the amendment of section 25 to allow for expropriation of land without compensation in the public interest.

The resolution was proposed by EFF leader Julius Malema and it was adopted after being seconded by the ANC's Vincent Smith. It was settled by voting after the DA's Annelie Lotriet tabled a counter proposal, which was defeated by 12 votes to 4.

MPs from the DA, COPE, ACDP and the Freedom Front Plus, were opposed to the motion, claiming the committee had committed serious procedural flaws in how it had processed hundreds of thousands of oral and written submissions it had received from interested parties from across the country.

In terms of the proposal, parliament will "urgently establish a mechanism to effect the necessary amendment to the relevant part of section 25 of the constitution".

Lewis Nzimande, an ANC MP who is also the co-chairperson of the CRC, said such a mechanism could either be a newly set up ad hoc committee or one of the existing committees of parliament once their resolution were approved by the two houses of parliament. These are the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces.

This marks the end of a lengthy process that saw MPs criss-crossing the country while conducting public hearings on the land question that attracted the attention of thousands of citizens and other stakeholders. During the process, parliament received an unprecedented number of written submissions.