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Parliament Issues Reminder on Constitution Eighteenth Amendment Bill

February 24, 2020

Parliament

The Ad Hoc Committee to Initiate and Introduce Legislation Amending Section 25 of the Constitution has reminded the public to submit comment on the Draft Constitution Eighteenth 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.

The Ad Hoc Committee recently adopted and released its draft public hearings programme.

The committee will divide into two groups so that the public hearings can run concurrently.

The hearings will kick off in Mpumalanga and the Free State on 28 February 2020 and conclude in the Western Cape on 5 April 2020.

The deadline for comment on the Draft Constitution Eighteenth Amendment Bill was recently extended until 29 February 2020.

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”.

Meanwhile, in a statement, the presidency confirmed that the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on Land Reform met in Cape Town today to assess progress made in speeding up the land reform process.

The IMC was set up in 2018 to oversee the implementation of cabinet decisions on land reform as well as recommendations of the Joint Committee on Constitutional Review and the High Level Panel on Land Reform.

The presidency confirmed that government will, in line with the announcement made by President Ramaphosa last week during the State of the Nation Address, release about 700 000 hectares of state-owned land parcels to beneficiaries at various provinces between March and December 2020.

The IMC also “took note of the public consultation processes underway with regards to the amendment of section 25 of the Constitution towards the finalisation of the Expropriation Bill”.