The Ad Hoc Committee to Initiate and Introduce Legislation Amending Section 25 of the Constitution will meet this week to finalise the wording of the text on the proposed amendments on land expropriation without compensation.
In a statement following a committee meeting at the end of last week, the committee chairperson, Dr Mathole Motshekga, pointed out that “this will give political parties a further opportunity to decide on whether they would be willing to move from their original positions on the amendments”.
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.
The Draft Constitution Eighteenth Amendment 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 national assembly recently granted the committee an extension to the end of August 2021 to complete its work.
The committee has requested Parliament Legal Services to use the formal positions that various political parties made available to formalise the draft amendments.
The African National Congress said it was in favour of state custodianship of certain land in order for citizens to gain access to land on an equitable basis while the Economic Freedom Fighters proposed that Subsection (3) should be amended to read that land is a natural resource and a common heritage, which belongs to the people as a whole, under the custodianship of the democratic state.
The Democratic Alliance, African Democratic Christian Party and Freedom Front Plus all indicated that it was not necessary to amend Section 25 to allow for restitution and redistribution as the Constitution currently already allowed for this.