Land constitutional amendment may be delayed: Mthembu

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ANC Chief Whip, Jackson Mthembu, concedes that the proposed process to amend the Constitution to give effect to land expropriation without compensation may not be completed before the rise of the 5th Parliament in May 2019.

Mthembu says the deadline of 31 March 2019 is ambitious. However, the ANC Chief Whip says the Ad Hoc Committee that will inquire into the constitutional amendment would still need to report back to the National Assembly by that deadline.

“Even if we had to conclude it on the 31st of March, it still has to go to the NCOP and the NCOP must still engage almost in the same process. The NCOP when it comes there must also create a mechanism probably an ad hoc committee as well, an ad hoc committee that also do the same, consult, gazette and put the matter before the house and agree. So it’s an involved process. From where I’m seated I don’t see this process concluded before the rise of the fifth parliament,” says ANC Chief Whip, Jackson Mthembu.

Mthembu says 23 Bills were passed by both houses of Parliament. These include the Minimum Wage Bill, Public Audit Amendment Bill, Electoral Amendment Bill and National Credit Amendment Bill among others.

The ANC Chief Whip also hailed the non partisan manner in which the Eskom Inquiry was conducted. He says the Inquiry’s report will be sent to the Zondo State Capture Commission of Inquiry.

Mthembu also insisted Parliament was serious about its oversight role, pointing out the work done on the Naturalisation of the Guptas and hearings of the VBS Bank Heist saga.

The ANC Chief Whip said he would rate the performance of the ANC Caucus eight out of ten. The remaining dropped two points being absenteeism resulting in failure to pass legislation.

Turning to the proposed amendment of section 25 of the constitution, Mthembu says the party had recommended to the Speaker that House Chairperson Thoko Didiza chair the Ad Hoc Committee dealing with the constitutional amendment.