The Constitution Eighteenth Amendment Bill has been tabled in parliament.
The Ad Hoc Committee to Initiate and Introduce Legislation Amending Section 25 of the Constitution adopted the report on the bill last week.
In a statement, the committee chairperson, Dr Mathole Motshekga, indicated that the report on the bill in its entirety, as well as the memorandum on the objects of the bill, were endorsed by the majority of members in the committee.
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 committee has been busy with deliberations on the revised bill.
The revised bill aims to amend the Constitution 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;
• National legislation must provide circumstances where the amount of compensation is nil;
• Land should be a common heritage of all citizens that the state must safeguard for future generations;
• Conditions should be fostered to enable state custodianship of certain land in order for citizens to gain access to land on an equitable basis; and
• To provide for matters connected therewith.
According to Dr Motshekga, the report is “based on the will of the people. We will do our level best to change the land ownership patterns of our country”.
The second draft of the bill was adopted by the committee on 3 September 2021.
There were three votes against the bill and no abstentions.
The bill and the report on the bill will be sent to the national assembly for consideration and adoption.