Parliament, Friday, 06 March 2020 – The KwaZulu Natal delegation of the Ad Hoc Committee to Initiate and Introduce Legislation Amending Section 25 of the Constitution in order to allow for the expropriation of land without compensation heard that the expropriation of land should include resources such as funds and equipment to ensure that the land is utilised efficiently and successfully.

Residents of Vryheid attributed the failure of the “willing buyer, willing seller” principle and other land claims processes to the lack of resources. “Sometimes we try to start projects like ploughing, but that stops on the way because we do not have equipment or money. The government should give us resources to help us,” one of the residents said in her oral submission during the hearings.

Views against the expropriation of land without compensation were also expressed. The delegation heard that land expropriation will be problematic if the current owners are not involved. Furthermore, those who own the land should have a share in the land to ensure that they provide resources and knowledge for the purposes of sustainable production.

Residents said the expropriation of land without the required knowledge and necessary resources to use it will be a meaningless and useless exercise as the land will be unused. The delegation heard that the people who got money from the land claims, misused the money and the land is not used. Ms Alta De Kok proposed that the government start with the land it owns by making it available to the people and train them on how to utilise the land effectively.

The delegation was told by the people that the implementation and management of land redistribution processes should be enhanced as the expropriation of land will have dire implications on investments, something which according to them, will impact negatively on the vulnerable masses of the people.

While several submissions called for the state to be the custodian of all South Africa’s natural resources that include land, mineral resources and water; the delegation was told that land in the Kwazulu-Natal Province never belonged to the people but under the King. The delegation was told that the land must be expropriated from the minority that owns it currently and should be returned to the people through the administration of the King.

Several residents called for an addition to subsection 25(2) which speaks to the terms of law of general application. One of these residents, Mr Vusumuzi Mazibuko said that this must include “(c) subject to without compensation or nil compensation under conditions laid out in a law of general applications”. It was further proposed that Clause 25(3) which speaks to the compensation and the time and manner of payment, should begin with, “Where compensation is payable”.

In explaining the process going forward, the Chairperson of the delegation, Advocate Bongani Bongo, asked the residents to be patient with the law-making process, something which he said, is not an easy task. “We need to ensure that Parliament responds to the call of the people adequately,” said Advocate Bongo.


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