Joint Constitutional Review Committee Continues with Oral Submissions

Parliament– The Joint Constitutional Review Committee (CRC) today continued with its oral presentations on whether section 25 of the Constitution should be amended to make provision for the expropriation of land without compensation.
The committee heard from several organisations, including the African Farmers Association (Afasa), Tshwane Inner City Arts & Culture Heritage Forum, Land Access Movement of South Africa (Lamosa), Azapo and Suidwes Landbou Eiendom Beperk, and Women on Farms.
Afasa called for the amendment of the Constitution to provide for greater clarity with reference to the expropriation of land without compensation. The organisation said the question of water rights also needs to be addressed as 98% of water rights currently reside with white establishments. It said water rights must be aligned. Tshwane Inner City Arts & Cultural Heritage Forum also supported an amendment of the Constitution as it maintained that land was not bought, so it should be given free to the people.
Mr Zinasele Kani told the committee the practice of willing buyer, willing seller should be abandoned. Azapo wants section 25 to be expunged. It wants the state to repossess land to correct the injustices of the past.
Women on Farms told the committee that the current provisions in the Constitution are unclear. They gave their support for amendment of the Constitution to make provision for expropriation without compensation. They called for the Constitution to be made explicit, clear and unambiguous. They further called for an immediate moratorium on the eviction of farm workers, which according to them, still happens to many farm workers in the Western Cape, until constitutional and legal processes have been finalised. According to them, female farm workers should be the target of land redistribution.
Lamosa and Suidwes Landbou Eiendom Beperk had a different view. The latter was in support of redress, especially where a farmer has hundreds of hectares of unused land. However, the organisation told the committee land being is used.
The Co-Chairperson of the committee, Mr Stanford Maila, thanked the presenters for participating in the process and enriching the debate.
The committee was instructed by the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces to ascertain whether a review of section 25 of the Constitution and other clauses is necessary, to make it possible for the state to expropriate land in the public interest without compensation, and also to propose constitutional amendments where necessary. The committee has already held hearings in all the country’s nine provinces and a week of oral submissions at Parliament.
The committee will continue with its hearings tomorrow.

Source: Parliament of the Republic of South Africa

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