After six weeks, 32 public meetings and hearings, Parliament’s Constitutional Review Committee has held its final meeting in Cape Town.
Many of those who attended spoke in favour of amending Section 25 of the Constitution. This would allow for expropriation of land without compensation.
And now the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has called for the amendment to be effected before the 2019 general elections.
Bettie Fortuin travelled for over two hours by taxi from her farmworkers’ community just outside De Doorns to the be in time for these public hearings.
She’s 57-years-old now, having first started working as a seasonal farm labourer when she was just 13-years-old. In that time she’s been evicted from two farms, had two of her five children die as a result and nothing but a small RDP house to show for her 44 years working on farms.
On Saturday however, she shared her pain with the Constitutional Review Committee and why she’s in favour of expropriating land without compensation.
“If your husband dies on the farm, then you are moved on. Then you must go. There are farmers who own 13 -14 farms that’s why I fully support land expropriation without compensation. I support it wholeheaterdly!” says Fortuin.
A sentiment shared by a large percentage of those who attended.
“Apartheid continues via the market. We must stop this!” says one of the attendees.
“Chair, we support the amendment of section 25 that the land must be expropriated without compensation!” adds another attendee.
Some however disagreed.
“I just want to say I do not support this motion,” says one of the attendees.
“When we expropriate that land it purely means that we’re collapsing the very same economy that is sustaining us today,” one of the attendees added.
Meanwhile, the EFF has called on Parliament to act fast, and amend Section 25 ahead of next year’s general elections. While the Democratic Alliance (DA) says there’s no need.
Floyd Shivambu, Deputy President, EFF says: “Before we got to elections we table a final report to the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces and adopt a constitutional amendment so that we go to elections with certainty in terms of the issue of land ownership and control in South Africa”
Mmusi Maimane, leader, DA says: “We are here to say, don’t change the constitution, change the Government! “
The Committee will now return to Parliament to begin processing the public hearings.
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