Draft bill on Section 25 amendment taken to rural Eastern Cape

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The Parliamentary Committee tasked with amending Section 25 of the Constitution holds a public consultation at Tsolo in the Eastern Cape. These are the first public hearings this year in the province.

People in the rural areas of the Eastern Cape had their chance to voice their position on the draft bill on the amendment of Section 25 of the Constitution to make it possible for the state to expropriate land without compensation in the public interest.

Traditional leaders, residents and political organisations attended with many, saying the process is taking too long, while women say they hope to get an equitable share.

Traditional leaders say the land must be given to them, as it was taken years ago.

Political parties in the OR Tambo region had different views on the matter.

The African National Congress’s (ANC), Xolile Nkompela says black people have been under oppression.

“Black people have been under oppression. They can’t do anything related to farming. Let us expropriate land without compensation, where there is dispute, let the court of law to decide,” says Nkompela.

Opposition to draft bill

Democratic Alliance’s (DA) Sthembele Mabasa explains how Sections 25 doesn’t allow the expropriation of land without compensation.

“Section 25 does allow the expropriation of land without compensation. We want people to own land because now the government seeks to take the land and loot more that is why we are opposed to this draft bill.”

Chairperson of the Ad Hoc Committee, Bongani Bongo, has urged residents to be patient.

“We are here to deal with the drafting of Section 25. All of them are saying that we need to draft the constitution such that it is able to respond to the majority. They are all saying the land is the economy and economy is the land and we need Parliament to draft legislation to make sure the land gets back to the majority of the people in this country.”

Adoption of land report in 2018

The National Assembly passed the Constitutional Review Committee report on land expropriation without compensation with more than 200 votes in 2018.

Below is Parliament’s full statement:

– Report by Lwandile Mbulali