Parliament, Friday, 23 October 2020 – With a large number of residents pledging their support for the amendment of section 25 of the Constitution to allow for the expropriation of land without compensation; residents of Kimberley today highlighted the continued crisis of urban land in the city.
Although the leader of the delegation, Dr Mathole Motshekga, had clarified in his opening remarks the reason for the hearing, which is to ascertain from the people of South Africa how section 25 should be drafted; many residents had used the opportunity to express their frustration and the urgent need for speedy implementation to address the urban land crisis in Kimberley.
Municipal Councillor, Ms Priscilla Kok, told the delegation that she has lived in an informal settlement for nine years and that there are no services available to the community. The municipality, she said, owns only 3% of the city and is therefore not able to minister to the needs of the residents. According to several residents, the vast majority of lands are owned by one individual and some companies.
According to the Northern Cape Provincial House of Traditional Leaders, the legacy of apartheid has robbed people of vast arable land, and resettled them in rocky, desert and unproductive land. Several residents said despite the vastness of the Northern Cape, its unequal development and the continued inequalities remain some of the largest concerns.
Mr Sizwe Jack said expropriation of land is a just and equitable process to restore the dignity of the people. He maintains that the “willing buyer, willing seller” policy has not worked; and one of his proposals include an amendment to Clause 25(3) which speaks to the compensation and the time and manner of payment. This, he said, should begin with, “where compensation is payable”.
Several black miners had also come out to express their views, and submitted that the plight of miners should not be forgotten in the process. According to them, they are not skilled in working agricultural lands which have become the main subject in the discussion of expropriation. Instead, they have requested that consideration also be given to expropriate areas for mining.
Views against the amendment of section 25 were also expressed. According to Mr Jan van Rensburg, expropriating land without compensation poses a threat to the economy and the value of the land. Similarly, Mr Chris Liebenberg spoke to the threat posed to private property. The expropriation of land, he said, will not be limited to agricultural land but people would also expropriate private homes.
Ms Reinnette Liebenberg is of the view that the government is giving people false hope. She told the delegation that many people are still waiting for title deeds for properties they had received as far back as 2007.
Dr Mathole Motshekga told the hearing that all the views expressed are important. He assured the hearing that the committee will do its utmost best to accurately articulate these views when it returns to Parliament. Furthermore, he thanked the community of Kimberly for its participation and valuable input on this important legislation.
ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE LEADER OF THE DELEGATION, DR MATHOLE MOTSHEKGA.
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