Parliament, Friday, 27 August 2021 – The Ad Hoc Committee to Initiate and Introduce Legislation Amending Section 25 of the Constitution today received a briefing on a report on the second call for submissions on the constitutional amendment to allow for expropriation of land without compensation. The committee also received a briefing on the third draft of the Constitution 18th Amendment Bill.
The purpose of the Bill is to amend section 25 of the Constitution so as to provide that where land is expropriated for land reform, the amount of compensation payable may be nil. Furthermore, to clarify that nil compensation is a legitimate option for land reform, so as to 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 committee heard that 148 891 written submissions were received during this round of public engagements. A substantial number either did not relate to the Bill or were duplicate submissions submitted to the Constitutional Review Committee in 2018. Others were resubmissions meant for the first call for submissions, submissions on the Expropriation Bill before Portfolio Committee on Public Works, or submissions from bulk email addresses supporting one submission (such as the bulk submissions from the Institute for Race Relations, DearSA and AfriForum).
Regarding the briefing on the third draft of the Bill, the committee heard that the submissions calling for the cut-off date for land restitution claims to be changed from 1913 to 1800 is a substantial amendment. If it was to effect this change, the committee would likely have to approach the National Assembly for an expansion of its scope and mandate, as well as advertise the Bill again for public input.
The committee was presented with three options at this stage – make no amendments to the second version of the bill; make inconsequential amendments to the second version of the Bill that will only require slight tweaking of that version; or accept the latest submissions and re-advertise the Bill as a third version with the request to expand the committee’s mandate.
Committee Chairperson Dr Mathole Motshekga said it would not be possible for committee members to take a decision on these matters today, as they would have to consult with their political principals on a way forward. The committee resolved to meet on Wednesday to discuss the way forward.
The National Assembly agreed yesterday to extend the tenure of the committee until 10 September 2021 to enable it to complete its work.
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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