Land expropriation: Parly committee to consider Constitutional changes

The ANC and EFF, along with smaller opposition parties, united behind a motion on the issue in the National Assembly on Tuesday.

A joint sitting of Parliament in the National Assembly. Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN - It will now be up to Parliament’s Constitutional Review Committee to consider whether Section 25 of the Constitution must be changed to allow for the expropriation of land without compensation.

The committee, which is expected to hold public hearings, must report back by 30 August.

This follows the ANC and EFF, along with smaller opposition parties, uniting behind a motion on the issue in the National Assembly on Tuesday.

Julius Malema - leader of the EFF, which brought the motion - said the time for action had arrived:

"The time for reconciliation is over. Now is the time for justice. If the grandchildren of Jan van Riebeeck have not understood that we need our land, that over and above it, is about our dignity, then they have failed to receive the gift of humanity."

ANC amendments were agreed to and the party threw its weight behind the motion. New Water and Sanitation Minister Gugile Nkwinti:

"There’s no doubt about it... land shall be expropriated without compensation. This will be implemented in a way that increases agricultural production, improves food security and ensures that land is returned to those from whom it was taken by colonialism and apartheid."

But the DA argued against it.

The party’s Thandeka Mbabama:

"It is a lie being peddled by a desperate ANC that fears being outflanked by the EFF. We in the DA believe that redressing the wrongs of the past is not a game and we can never use the scars of the past to score cheap political points. Land reform is a social justice issue and the government’s newly changed position will not benefit the poor, but will instead benefit the elite and those with connections to the ANC government."