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National Assembly Adopts Proposed Amendment to Section 25 of the Constitution

4 December 2018

In an historic development since the advent of our parliamentary democracy, the National Assembly (NA) today considered and adopted the report of the Joint Constitutional Review Committee (JCRC) on the review of Section 25 of the Constitution, to expropriate land without compensation.

The adoption of this report is a culmination of a lengthy parliamentary process which commenced on 27 February 2018, where the NA adopted a motion to review Section 25 of the Constitution and other clauses where necessary, to sufficiently cater for the principle of land expropriation without compensation. The JCRC then conducted an extensive public participation process which included a land colloquium, written and oral submissions, and held public hearings across the country. The overwhelming majority of the people of South Africa called for an amendment to Section 25 of the Constitution, so as to expedite the process of land reform in South Africa.

Today, the NA responded to the quest of our people to resolve this national grievance and restore the land to its rightful owners. The adopted recommendation states - "Section 25 of the Constitution must be amended to make explicit that which is implicit in the Constitution, with regards to Expropriation of Land without Compensation, as 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."

This recommendation is a direct result of the resolution of the 54th National Conference of the African National Congress (ANC) which resolved that the ANC should, as a matter of policy, pursue expropriation of land without compensation. Conference also resolved that this should be pursued without destabilising the agricultural sector; without endangering food security in our country; and without undermining economic growth and job creation. The expropriation of land is in the public interest, and is about redressing the effects of what President Ramaphosa characterised as "the original sin of arbitrary dispossession of land" in his 2018 State of the Nation Address (SONA).

The process of amending the Constitution for the expropriation of land without compensation, will undoubtedly lead to access to agricultural and residential land for all. From its formation, the ANC has fought for the return of land to its rightful owners. Our land reform project as the ANC has always been about the creation of a democratic, non-racial, non-sexist, united and a prosperous nation. Therefore, just and equitable redistribution, and restitution of land, is about ensuring the stability and prosperity of our country.

The ANC applauds the sterling work of the JCRC in ensuring that their work was conducted in a fair, transparent and democratic manner. The ANC is ready to defend this process against parties that have threatened legal action against Parliament to ostensibly block this transformative step. We will defend the right of the people who gave us a mandate to address the original sin of land dispossession.

The National Council of Provinces (NCOP) will consider and adopt the JCRC report on Wednesday, 05 December 2018.

The ANC Chief Whip, comrade Jackson Mthembu, will on Thursday, 06 December 2018, formally table a motion in the NA for the establishment of an Ad Hoc Committee to deal with the actual amendment of the Section 25 of the Constitution.

Issued by the Office of the ANC Chief Whip, comrade Jackson Mthembu.


Nonceba Mhlauli
072 623 3462

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