ANC whip hopes land bill will be passed in time for ConCourt deadline

The court gave Parliament 24 months when it declared the 2014 Restitution of Land Rights Act inadequate.

FILE: The Wolseley Farm in the Western Cape. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - African National Congress (ANC) member of Parliament (MP) Pumzile Mnguni says he hopes his draft land restitution bill will be passed by Parliament in time to meet the Constitutional Court’s deadline.

The court gave Parliament 24 months when it declared the 2014 Restitution of Land Rights Act invalid after finding that Parliament’s public consultation process was inadequate.

Mnguni says he will introduce his draft Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Bill once Parliament resumes business early in May.

This is believed to be the first time an ANC MP has introduced a private member’s bill on any issue.

Mnguni says like the act that was ruled invalid, his draft Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Bill aims to provide a new five-year window for land claims to cater for those who missed the previous 1998 cut-off date.

“We are under pressure; the land issue is becoming topical and there’s frustration that land reform is very slow and not supporting economic transformation and empowerment.”

Mnguni is the ANC’s whip on Parliament’s rural development and land reform committee, which is expected to process the bill.

Mnguni says he hopes the bill will have been adopted by both houses of Parliament for President Jacob Zuma to sign it into law by the Constitutional Court’s deadline of July next year.

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)