Parliament, Saturday, 5 June 2021 – The Portfolio Committee on Public Works and Infrastructure has concluded its second leg of public hearings on the Expropriation Bill in the Eastern Cape’s Joe Gqabi District, where residents cautioned against selective implementation of the Bill to ensure that expropriation benefits the majority of South Africans.
The majority of residents at Joe Gqabi District supported the Bill largely because to them expropriation promises to be a tool to reverse injustices of the past while ensuring equitable access to the much needed land. The risk posed by unfairness was highlighted by residents as a factor that has a potential to undermine the good intentions of the Bill.
Emerging farmers used the opportunity presented to them by the hearings to decry the perennial challenge of the unavailability of land especially to the previously disadvantaged people living in townships and rural areas. Traditional leaders also expressed their support for the Bill and highlighted the longstanding link between traditional leaders and land.
A certain number of participants told the committee that their support for the Bill is on condition that the expropriation of land will translate into increased production, food security, job creation, pushing back the frontiers of poverty and, above all, shaking the walls of inequality in South Africa.
The committee also received various complaints that are related to land reform process and other challenges that people are facing on the ground. The complaints included nonissuance of title deeds and lack of support to emerging farmers. The committee has committed itself to passing the complaints to the relevant parliamentary committees to ensure follow-up on the complaints and the delivery of service in the end.
The dissenting views on the Bill were based on the Bill’s vagueness in defining property which, according to dissenters, would lead to dissipation of investment into the country which will put at risk livelihoods.
The committee told the residents that it has received and captured all the views presented by them on the Bill. Furthermore, it assured them that it will deliberate on their views as a committee and will incorporate them into the Bill to ensure that the Bill is enriched and strengthened.
Meanwhile, the committee will today move to Amathole District Municipality and then conclude its Eastern Cape Public hearings in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality on Sunday, 6 June 2021.
ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE, MS NOLITHA NTOBONGWANA
For media enquiries or interviews with the Chairperson, please contact the committee’s Media Officer:
Name: Malatswa Molepo (Mr)
Parliamentary Communication Services
Tel: 021 403 8438
Cell: 081 512 7920
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