National Assembly Re-Establishes Committee To Amend Land Reform Section Of Constitution

A motion to amend Section 25 of the South African Constitution to allow expropriation without compensation has been accepted by a majority vote in the National Assembly.

The National Assembly further agreed to re-establish a multiparty ad hoc committee to initiate and introduce legislation amending section 25 of the Constitution.

Last year, the Constitutional Review Committee recommended that Parliament amend section 25 of the Constitution to make plain that which is not regarding expropriation of land without compensation as a legitimate option for land reform.

The committee would report back to the National Assembly end the of March next year and will comprise 11 voting members and 14 non-voting members.

Voting members would be drawn from the African National Congress (6), the Democratic Alliance (2), the Economic Freedom Fighters (1) and other parties (2). 

The 14 non-voting members would be African National Congress (2), Democratic Alliance (1), Economic Freedom Fighters (1) and other parties (10).

The ad hoc committee will have the general powers of parliamentary committees, as contained in Rule 167 of the National Assembly Rules.

The fifth democratic Parliament agreed to establish such a committee.

However, the committee could not complete its task by the time the fifth democratic Parliament was dissolved, and it was recommended that the sixth Parliament conclude the matter.

The decision to establish such an ad hoc committee followed Parliament’s adoption of the report of the Constitutional Review Committee (CRC) in December 2018 to review section 25 of the Constitution.

The report recommended that Parliament amends section 25 of the Constitution to make “explicit that which is implicit in the Constitution, regarding expropriation of land without compensation, as a legitimate option for land reform to address the historic wrongs caused by arbitrary dispossession of land.”

The CRC contended that doing so would ensure equitable access to land and further empower the majority of South Africans to be productive participants in ownership, food security and agricultural reform programs. 

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