7 November 2019
The Ad Hoc Committee to Initiate and Introduce Legislation Amending Section 25 of the Constitution held a workshop yesterday on Constitutional Dialogue on Land Ownership.
In a statement, the Committee confirmed that the aim of the workshop was to “gather insights from experts and stakeholders in order to gather information on how to draft the Bill that will make it possible to amend the Constitution, to allow for the expropriation of land without compensation”.
The multiparty Ad Hoc Committee tasked with initiating and introducing legislation amending Section 25 of the Constitution was set up in July 2019.
The plan is for the Committee to report to the national assembly by 31 March 2020.
A draft bill will probably be published in the Government Gazette in December 2019 followed by a period of public comment.
During the discussions, the Parliamentary Legal Services outlined two possible ways in which the Constitution could be amended.
The first option is to “amend subsections (2)(b) and (3)(b), subject to compensation, the amount of which and the time and manner of payment of which have either been agreed to by those affected or decided or approved by a court, provided that a court may determine that no compensation is payable in the event of expropriation of land for the purpose of land reform”.
In cases where compensation is payable, the amount and the time and manner of payment must be just and equitable.
The second option involves inserting a new subsection, namely, “Notwithstanding the requirement for compensation contemplated in subsections (2), (3) and (4), land may be expropriated without the payment of any compensation as a legitimate option for land reform in order to redress the results of past racial discrimination.”
The committee plans to deliberate on the outcomes of the workshop next week.