The Ad Hoc Committee to Initiate and Introduce Legislation Amending Section 25 of the Constitution has adopted the report on public participation.
In a statement, the committee chairperson, Dr Mathole Motshekga, declared that the adoption clears the way for the committee to start engaging and deliberating on the “wording and format” of the Draft 18th Constitutional Amendment Bill.
The multiparty ad hoc committee tasked with initiating and introducing legislation amending Section 25 of the Constitution to allow for land expropriation without compensation was set up in July 2019.
In 2020, the national assembly re-established the ad hoc committee.
Nation-wide public hearings were finalised at the end of last year.
The draft bill was published for comment at the end of 2019.
The aim of the draft bill is to amend the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, so as to provide that where land and any improvements thereon are expropriated for the purposes of land reform, the amount of compensation payable may be nil; and to provide for matters connected therewith.
The draft bill’s memorandum also adds that “such limitation is a legitimate option for land reform, so as to address the historic wrongs caused by the arbitrary dispossession of land, and in so doing ensure equitable access to land and further empower the majority of South Africans to be productive participants in ownership, food security and agricultural reform programs”.
The committee resolved to give members until early May to consult within their political parties on the draft bill and the report before deliberations on the text of the draft bill get underway.
The plan is to conclude the work of the committee by 21 May 2021.