Parliament, Saturday, 29 February 2020 – The Ad Hoc Committee to Initiate and Introduce Legislation Amending Section 25 of the Constitution heard views from a wide range of stakeholders in Middleburg today on how they would like the amendment of Section 25 of the Constitution to be worded.

The stakeholders included, traditional leaders, political parties, non-governmental organisations, churches, labour unions, women organisations, civic organisations and youth organisations.

The majority of speakers told the delegation of the committee that the people on the ground demand redress. They requested that the issue of land ownership must be addressed by the executive, not by the courts, as the court process will be long and lengthy.

The view for the amendment of Section 25 of the Constitution to include expropriation of land without compensation was in the majority in Middleburg. The committee heard from the majority of the people calling for all the land including natural and mineral resources to belong to the state.

There were calls from the same hearings for the state owned land to be given back to the traditional leaders, to the kings and queens specifically. Those who called for the return of the state land to traditional leaders argued that, the land and livestock were taken by force through the system apartheid from the traditional leaders. They said, the state land must be given to the traditional leaders, as it is them who will distribute it to the people.

The people told the delegation that it must not only be the rural land that must be expropriated, but also the urban state owned land must be distributed to its rightful owners.
They said, while the process of amending Section 25 of the Constitution is going on, the responsible government departments must accelerate the processing of the outstanding land claims as there are still many people who have been waiting patiently for decades.

The leader of the delegation, Advocate Bongani Bongo, said that the public hearings that are taking place in the Mpumalanga Province mark the beginning of the nationwide public hearings on Section 25 of the Constitution. “We have to listen to as many people as possibly, this is part of the public participation process that we are constitutionally bound to do. All the oral submissions will be recorded, and the committee will have a draft report once the public hearings have been completed,” said Adv Bongo.

The delegation hold the final leg of public hearing in Mpumalanga at Ermelo tomorrow.

For media enquiries or interviews, please contact the committee’s Media Officer:

Name: Sureshinee Govender (Ms)
Tel: 021 403 2239
Cell: 081 704 1109