Public hearings on Land to get underway

Vacant land
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The nationwide hearings kick-off on Tuesday in the Northern Cape, where residents of Springbok and the surrounding areas in Namaqualand will be the first to have their voices heard over the next four days.

As the Constitutional Review Committee starts its public hearings on the review of Section 25 of the Constitution, the Rural Development committee will be in North West and KwaZulu-Natal to continue with its own public hearing on the Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Bill. The two processes are separate and different.

The Constitutional Review Committee aims to investigate the possibility of amending the Constitution to expropriate land without compensation, while the Rural Development Committee is holding public hearings to amend the Restitution of Land Right Act to reopen the lodgement of land claims.

The Rural Development Committee has split into two groups. One will be in Matlosana in the North West and the other will be in Zululand in KwaZulu-Natal to hold public hearings on the bill.

The bill was signed into law in 2014 by former president Jacob Zuma but the Amendment Act was later send back to parliament after a successful constitutional court bid due to insufficient public participation on the bill.

The Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Bill seeks to reopen the lodgement of land claims for those possible claimants who missed the December 1998 cutoff date. It also seeks to establish a National Land Restitution register.

More on the Land Expropriation Hearings …