Committee reminds public to have their say on land expropriation Bill

Committee reminds public to have their say on land expropriation Bill

As parliament moves forward with expropriation without compensation, it is important to pay attention to the challenges of land reform. Picture: Shutterstock

South Africans have until the end of the month to have their say, despite Agri SA unsuccessfully requesting and extension, and the EFF saying the Bill was released without ‘adequate publicity’.

The ad hoc committee on amending Section 25 of the constitution to allow for the expropriation of land without compensation has called for written submissions on the Draft Constitution Eighteenth Amendment Bill.

“The aim of the Bill is to amend the Constitution of South Africa so as to, among others, provide that where land and improvements thereon are expropriated for the purposes of land reform, nil compensation will be payable,” says a statement from the committee.

Submissions must be sent before January 31.

The Bill can be read here, and South Africans can have their say by emailing section25@parliament.gov.za.

Towards the end of December last year, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) expressed unhappiness over parliament publishing the bill for the amendment of the Constitution to allow for expropriation of land without compensation, without “adequate publicity” or a public announcement, and “worse, just before Christmas”.

The party has called on South Africans to share the bill “far and wide”.

“The principle is simple, the Constitution must be amended to include [an] explicit clause that land must be expropriated, without compensation.

READ MORE: The ANC has a section 25 amendment dilemma

“We invite all progressive peoples, movements, organisations and formations to send comments in support of the expropriation of land without compensation.

“This is the historic victory we all need as a country for true total decolonisation to occur,” the statement concludes.

It was reported on December 10 that after months of behind-the-scenes preparation, the parliamentary ad hoc committee on the amendment to section 25 of the constitution had come up with a draft Bill to allow for the insertion of land expropriation without compensation.

However, there are still many hurdles before the constitution is altered to accommodate the change.

The committee will now take written submissions until January 31, a deadline Agri SA called to be extended for three months, a call rejected by the committee.

Opposition political parties, like the Democratic Alliance and the Freedom Front Plus, continue to voice their objections to the Bill.

(Compiled by Daniel Friedman)

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