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Preliminary reports on the expropriation of land without compensation

22 August 2018

The Constitutional Review Committee of Parliament met today for the first time since concluding public hearings on the Constitutional amendment to expropriate land without compensation.

The committee considered a preliminary report on written submissions, and an initial report on the public hearings conducted by the committee over the past two months.

Both reports highlight the divergent views raised by the public in favour, and against the amendment of the Constitution. Those in favour of amending the Constitution are reported to argue that the Constitution in its current form is an impediment in addressing the historic injustice of landlessness. Those against amending the Constitution are reported to argue that the Constitution does not prohibit the expropriation of land and that the current exercise Parliament is conducting needs further investigation.

Noting these preliminary reports, as the ANC, we raised our concerns relating to the manner in which the reports were compiled and the terms of reference used to conclude certain observations. It was therefore unanimously resolved that the service provider analysing the written submissions must be engaged by the committee to clarify their process of analysing these submissions. This meeting will take place in two weeks' time.

The committee further resolved not to allow political parties and government institutions an opportunity to make oral submissions. This is informed by our conviction that the process of public participation is meant for parliament; as an organ of the people; to listen to the views of South Africans, and not for parties already represented in Parliament to dominate proceedings.

As this Parliamentary process unfolds, we reiterate our position as the ANC, as announced by President Ramaphosa, that the ANC supports an amendment to the Constitution that would provide clarity on the circumstances under which expropriation of land without compensation could be effected. Our position is informed, among other things, by the views of our people in public hearings and by the members of the ANC.

The ANC in Parliament will therefore engage on this unfolding process in a manner that will ensure that land reform is implemented in a way that increases agricultural production, improves food security and ensures that the land is returned to those from whom it was taken under colonialism and apartheid, as informed by the resolution of our 54th National Conference.

Issued by the Whip of the ANC Study Group on the Constitutional Review Committee, comrade Madipoane Mothapo.
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