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South Africa: Constitutional Review Committee Holds First Public Hearing in Kwazulu-Natal

A delegation of the Joint Constitutional Review Committee held its first public hearing in KwaZulu-Natal into a possible review of section 25 of the Constitution. The committee was instructed by the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces to ascertain whether a review of section 25 of the Constitution and other clauses are necessary, to make it possible for the state to expropriate land in the public interest without compensation, and propose the necessary constitutional amendments where necessary.

Hundreds of people attended the public hearing. The first speaker supported the expropriation of land without compensation and so did many after him. There were others who did not support the expropriation of land without compensation. One of the speakers informed the committee that as the process unfolds the land under the Ingonyama Trust must not be confiscated and must not be used to divide the people. In the same light there were others who called for title deeds for the land that they have been living on for decades. Another speaker informed the committee that due to uncertainty on the possible review of Section 25 of the Constitution, as a contractor he has lost three projects and foreign investment. This meant that he had to retrench about 120 people and there will be more to follow.

Livestock farmers called for more land for the rapidly expanding business of livestock farming. Some farmers do not support expropriation without compensation. There are farms that are lying idle and not being used. There were others who called for land for infrastructure development, housing and service delivery programmes.

The submissions are varied and many have provided invaluable input. “All written and oral submissions will be collated once the committee is back at Parliament and a report will be prepared”, said Chairperson, Mr Lewis Nzimande.  

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Parliament.
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