Parliament, Saturday, 31 October 2020 – Residents of Khayelitsha based “Covid-City” informal settlement today used the presence of the delegation of the Ad Hoc Committee to Initiate and Introduce Legislation Amending Section 25 of the Constitution, to hand over a memorandum which outlines their grievances regarding their living conditions.
Before the start of the hearings, the delegation stepped outside the venue to receive the memorandum from a group of protestors who highlighted their dire need for shelter, water and other basic services. The protestors told the delegation that they seek an urgent intervention of the Minister of Human Settlements, Ms Lindiwe Sisulu, as their requests are ignored by the Provincial Government of the Western Cape.
A large majority of participants in the venue spoke strongly in favour of the amendment of section 25 of the Constitution to allow for the expropriation of land without compensation. However, it didn’t express its views on wording of the amendment which the hearings were about. Instead the group highlighted its views on reasons to expropriate the land.
One of the community chiefs, chief Dumisani Msolo, said the land is supposed to be in possession of traditional leaders. He said: “The people who lack accommodation have resorted to taking the land which is used for circumcision schools.”
Ms Nadeema Petersen told the delegation that no compensation was given to the people of District 6 when they were forcefully removed and placed on the Cape flats. “Our people cannot be packed like sardines and be backyard dwellers while the land is being sold to developers,” she said.
Several residents said wording of the constitutional amendment must include that the state should be the custodian of all South Africa’s natural resources that include the land, mineral resources and water. Furthermore, they said relevant legislation which clearly defines and contextualise state custodianship should be passed.
The delegation also heard from those who held opposing views. According to Gaob-Martinus Fredericks who is the Chairperson of Aman Traditional Authority, said the Constitution in its current form makes sufficient provision for land to be expropriated without compensation. “As the Nama Nation we do not support the proposed amendments,” he said.
The leader of the delegation, Mr Cyril Xaba, thanked the residents of Khayelitsha for their valuable input and for their tolerance of different views on the matter. “We thank you for exercising your constitutional right to participate in these hearings,” he said.
ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE LEADER OF THE DELEGATION OF THE AD HOC COMMITTEE ON THE AMENDMENT OF SECTION 25 OF THE CONSTITUTION, MR CYRIL XABA.
For media enquiries or interviews with the Chairperson, please contact the Committee’s Media Officer:
Name: Felicia Lombard (Ms)
Parliamentary Communication Services
Tel: 021 403 8285
Cell: 063 503 2364
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