Parliament’s joint constitutional review committee that is conducting land expropriation hearings across the country has bowed to the Economic Freedom Fighter’s (EFF) demands to change the venue of the Tshwane leg of the hearings.
It was reported earlier this week that a City of Tshwane council meeting had to be paused as EFF Tshwane councillors said the Lucas van der Berg Hall located in Pretoria West, which was expected to host the hearings, was too small.
The EFF members claimed the venue would only accommodate 200 people and that it was situated in a predominantly Afrikaner community.
In a statement released on Friday, Parliament said the committee, which is conducting hearings on the possible amendment of section 25 of the Constitution, consulted with the City of Tshwane and decided to change the venue for the hearings.
“The main reason for the change of venue was to accommodate as many people as possible in one venue. The hearings will now be held at the Heartfelt arena, Thaba Tshwane. The people who will make their way to the original venue will be shuttled to the Heartfelt arena.
“The hearings are being held as a result of a decision by the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces to ascertain whether a review of section 25 of the Constitution and other clauses are necessary, to make it possible for the state to expropriate land in the public interest without compensation, and propose the required constitutional amendments where necessary,” Parliament said.
Meanwhile, hearings continued in East London and Sedibeng on Friday.
On Thursday, participants in East London had mixed views over the amendment of the Constitution.
One person, who represented the Khoisan, said he was not supporting expropriation of land without compensation, as they wanted to be recognised as the first people in South Africa before they could engage in the country’s democratic processes.
In the Sedibeng leg of the hearings, one participant agreed the land should be expropriated without compensation, as she felt like “a street kid”.
Another participant, Gerald Robertson said land expropriation without compensation was the same as stealing property.
— Parliament of RSA (@ParliamentofRSA) July 26, 2018