Political parties divided as review committee adopts report

The constitution will now have to be amended to allow for land expropriation without compensation.
The constitution will now have to be amended to allow for land expropriation without compensation.
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The National Assembly has adopted a report which will see the constitution be amended to allow for land expropriation without compensation.

The adoption of the report, which paves the way for the historic tweaking of the Bill of Rights, comes after 10 months of emotionally charged public hearings and debates spearheaded by the constitutional review committee after the amendments were supported by the ANC, EFF, UDM, NFP and other smaller parties.

However, the developments are much to the chagrin of parties opposed to land expropriation without compensation which include the DA, IFP, FF Plus, Cope as well as the ACDP, who have threatened court action, arguing that the parliamentary process, which resulted in more than 700000 written submissions, was flawed.

There were 209 MPs who voted in favour of the adoption of the report, while 91 MPs were against it.

This comes after the joint constitutional review committee on November 15 adopted its report in favour of an amendment of section 25 of the constitution to make it possible for the state to expropriate land without compensation in the public interest.

The National Council of Provinces yesterday adopted the land expropriation report.

Immediately after the report was adopted, the EFF held a media briefing and party leader Julius Malema reiterated the party's position that all land should be expropriated without compensation by the state.

Anyone who wants to use the land, should request permission from government, he said.

"All of us must reside on a land that is owned by the state, meaning that the land is not a commodity," he opined.

During the parliamentary debate over the adoption of the report, ANC member of parliament Moloko Maila said: "The mandate to review section 25 of the constitution was necessary to make it possible for the state to expropriate land in the public interest without compensation."

DA member of parliament Thandeka Mbabama said her party recognised that effective land reform must be prioritised and pursued urgently to redress land dispossession.

"South Africa suffers from a history of black people being denied land ownership but to address this we don't need to change the constitution. We need to change the government. The DA wants all South Africans to own their land and property," Mbabama said.

She said effective land reform should not undermine food security and social cohesion.

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