Expropriation without compensation returns to parliament's agenda

25 July 2019 - 11:20 By ANDISIWE MAKINANA
A yet to be established parliamentary committee will have until March 31 next year to complete its work and report back to the house.
A yet to be established parliamentary committee will have until March 31 next year to complete its work and report back to the house.
Image: 123RF/Gudella

Expropriation of land without compensation returns to the parliamentary agenda on Thursday afternoon as the National Assembly is scheduled to revive the widely contested motion to amend the constitution in this regard.

 Parliament's programme shows that ANC chief whip Pemmy Majodina will table a motion for the establishment of a new ad hoc committee to take over from where the fifth parliament left off. The yet-to-be established committee will have until March 31 2020 to complete its work and report back to the house.

Majodina's motion will note that in the fifth parliament the report of the constitutional review committee was adopted by both houses of parliament last December, recommending that parliament amend Section 25 of the Constitution “to make explicit that which is implicit in the constitution, with regards to expropriation of land without compensation, as a legitimate option for land reform ... ”

This, the motion says, would address the historic wrongs caused by the arbitrary dispossession of land, and in so doing ensure equitable access to land and further empower the majority of South Africans to be productive participants in ownership, food security and agricultural reform programmes.

The new committee, with 25 members, will be expected to initiate and introduce legislation amending Section 25 of the constitution. Eleven of the committee's members will have voting rights, while 14 will be allowed to participate in the processes but won't be allowed to vote.

The National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces adopted a report of the constitutional review committee last December which recommended the amendment of Section 25 to explicitly state that land expropriation without compensation should be one of the means that could be used to address skewed land ownership.

At the time, the ANC's Stan Maila, who co-chaired that committee whose term lapsed with the end of the fifth parliament, said the decision to recommend the amendment was based on the will of the landless people. The committee had held countrywide public hearings over months and also received hundreds of thousands of written submissions with strong and contrasting views from both those who supported the amendment and those who opposed it.

Parties that oppose the motion have previously threatened litigation against the process followed by parliament.


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