Parliament, Sunday, 1 March February 2020 – The Free State delegation of the Ad Hoc Committee to Initiate and Introduce Legislation Amending Section 25 of the Constitution today concluded its public hearings with a meeting in Rocklands’s Kagisanong Hall in Bloemfontein.
More than 500 members of the public, with many of them wearing different political party regalia, filled the Kagisanong Hall early in the morning to ensure that they have an opportunity to speak on the matter.
The majority of the members of the public said the amendment of Section 25 should include the government’s commitment to land reform, and other reforms that will guarantee equitable access to all South Africa’s natural resources.
Others told the committee that they felt strongly that no provision of Section 25 of the Constitution may impede the state from taking legislative and other measures to achieve land, water and related reforms, in order to redress the consequences of the legacy of the past discrimination.
Traditional leaders expressed concerns regarding access to land where herbs for medicinal purposes can be found, and they also highlighted the problem of the unavailability of land to plant such herbs. They told the delegation of the committee that they are persecuted by the authorities when they are looking for herbs in the forest, and in other places where they can get the suitable herbs. They said they want land in order to plant their own herbs.
Although the view against the amendment of Section 25 of the Constitution was in the minority, but it was raised. Those who argued against, highlighted the pros and cons placing emphasis on economic repercussions. Concerns regarding the effect of the amendment on property rights were also highlighted.
Dr Mathole Motshekga, Chairperson of the committee, reminded those who supported the amendment that they should be tolerant of the voices that disagreed with the view for the amendment. “We are a multi-party Parliament and all the voices must be heard,” said Dr Motshekga.
Earlier in the day some Members of the Committee attended a prayer meeting at Waaihoek Church where the service was conducted by Bishop Johnson Lupuwana of the Ethiopian Church of South Africa and who is also the President of the Southern African Interfaith Council (SAIC). The purpose of the meeting was to offer Members of the Committee an opportunity to worship before the start of today’s hearings.
ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE AD HOC COMMITTEE TO INITIATE AND INTRODUCE LEGISLATION AMENDING SECTION 25 OF THE CONSTITUTION, DR MATHOLE MOTSHEKGA
For media enquiries or interviews, please contact the committee’s Media Officer:
Name: Rajaa Azzakani (Ms)
Tel: 021 403 8437
Cell: 081 703 9542
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