Parliamentary committee on land expropriation wraps up its work
The expropriation of land without compensation is one step closer after the parliamentary land expropriation committee adopted the bill that will amend the constitution to provide for this.
On Friday, the ad hoc committee tasked with overseeing the Constitution Eighteenth Amendment Bill that will amend section 25 of the constitution adopted the bill, bringing the process much closer to reality.
Committee chairperson Mathole Motshekga said the bill in its entirety, as well as the memorandum on the objectives of the bill, were endorsed by the majority of members in the committee. There were three votes against the bill and no abstentions. The purpose of the bill is to amend section 25 of the constitution to provide that where land is expropriated for land reform, the amount of compensation payable may be nil.
The bill also aims to clarify that nil compensation is a legitimate option for land reform to address the historic wrongs caused by the arbitrary dispossession of land. The legislation will ensure equitable access to land and further empower the majority of South Africans to be productive participants in ownership, food security and agricultural reform programmes.
Motshekga said the draft law is the product of extensive public engagements, spanning the work of both legislatures of parliament and three committees.
“It is a historic day as we adopt this Constitution 18th Amendment Bill, which is the product of engagement by all political parties inside the committee and through bi-laterals involving political principles and parties.
“I want to commend all members because you were always alive to the character of our constitutional democracy, which is both representative and participatory. Today we can proudly say we are adopting a bill that adheres to those principles,” said Motshekga.
Motshekga said the committed has carefully listened to the people of this country, and “have adopted a bill that will be to the benefit of all South Africans, irrespective of colour”.
The committee is expected to meet on Wednesday to vote on the report on the bill, after which it will be sent to the National Assembly for consideration.