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Ad Hoc Committee on Section 25 to Resume Hearings

October 20, 2020

Parliament

The Ad Hoc Committee to Initiate and Introduce Legislation Amending Section 25 of the Constitution is to resume public hearings this week.

The Ad Hoc Committee met at the end of last week to finalise its programme of public hearings for the remaining provinces.

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.

Earlier this year, the national assembly (NA) re-established the Ad Hoc Committee.

In a statement, parliament declared that the “outbreak of the Coronavirus affected the Committee’s programme, and its term expired on 29 May 2020 before it could complete its mandate”.

“The NA agreed to re-establish the Committee with the same composition and powers as its predecessor and instructed it to incorporate in its work the proceedings and all the work of the previous committee until its term expired.”

In a statement, the Ad Hoc Committee confirmed that hearings will resume in two groups.

“The delegation of Group A will commence its public hearings in Limpopo Province, whilst the delegation of Group B will commence its public hearings in the Northern Cape Province on Wednesday, 21 October 2020.”

Hearings will also be scheduled in the Western Cape from 30 October 2020.

In early November 2020, the Ad Hoc Committee plans to consider the reports on all the public hearings before it begins deliberations on the amendments.

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 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”.