Smith: Public hearings on land opportunity for all to express views

The nationwide hearings are scheduled to kickoff this week in the Limpopo and Northern Cape on Tuesday and Wednesday.

A video screengrab shows Vincent Smith listening to deliberations in Parliament.

JOHANNESBURG - Parliament's joint constitutional review committee says its public hearings, must be regarded as an opportunity to build a more just and equitable country in which we must make full and effective use of the resources at our disposal.

Committee chair Vincent Smith addressed the media on Sunday morning on the review of Section 25 of the Constitution.

The nationwide hearings are scheduled to kick off this week in the Limpopo and Northern Cape on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The final hearings are scheduled to end on the 4 August in the Western Cape.

Parliament has finalised a programme for countrywide hearings. Find out when it happens in your province. Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN

Smith says it's important for all South Africans to understand that the hearings are open to all.

“It’s imperative that instead of some viewing the hearings on land expropriation as a threat to their livelihoods, we must take advantage of the process as a right that everyone enjoys under the Constitution to express their views in order to build a just, fair and inclusive society.”

Earlier the committee announced it has appointed a service provider to assist with analyzing the public's submissions into land expropriation.

The chairperson says by the closing date for written submissions, 15 June, they had received more than 700,000 submissions from the public.

WATCH: Land reform: More than 700,000 submissions received

Smith says the committee saw the need to augment its internal capacity.

“The requirements of the service provider will be to acknowledge receipt of each and every submission. Also to analyze the content of the submissions that we have received.”

He says that the committee resolved that clearly identifiable submissions that can be traced back to a name, cellphone number and email address will be considered.

The service provider was officially appointed on Friday and has been given until the end of July to complete its process.

(Edited by Masechaba Sefularo)