The deadline for the ad hoc committee to make the much-debated amendment to Section 25 of the constitution to allow expropriation without compensation has been extended to 29 May.
The National Assembly unanimously passed a motion to this effect on Thursday.
When the committee was established, its deadline to draft a constitutional amendment was the end of March.
However, in January, after requests from organisations and political parties, it extended the period for comment on the draft bill by a month to the end of February. Two delegations of the committee are currently criss-crossing the country for public hearings on the amendment.
On Thursday, one of the delegations was in Mtubatuba, KwaZulu-Natal.
According to a statement from the delegation’s chairperson, ANC MP Bongani Bongo, residents of Mtubatuba and the surrounding areas have called on the delegation to amend the constitution to allow for the expropriation of land without compensation to fast-track the amendment and its implementation.
“This process is taking too long; we have made our opinions clear in 2018 when the Constitutional Review Committee was here,” said one resident, according to the statement.
A delegation was in Schweizer-Reneke in the North West on Friday, and the other in Vryheid, KwaZulu-Natal. On Saturday, the delegations will be in Mahikeng, North West, and Winterton in KwaZulu-Natal.
Meanwhile, the libertarian think-tank the Institute of Race Relations, in a statement, called for the suspension of the public hearings after the first case of the coronavirus was recorded in South Africa on Thursday.
On Friday, ANC chief whip Pemmy Majodina, in a statement, issued a “clarion call” on South Africans to participate in the hearings.
“It is crucial that South African citizens have a say on how the expropriation of land should take place, therefore, we encourage the public to participate in numbers so that their voices are heard,” read the statement.
“We wish members of the ad hoc committee a successful and productive programme.”