Constitutional amendments: Quality, not quantity submissions key for committee

Committee chairperson Vincent Smith says the hearings which will be hosted at venues across the country over the next month are open to all South Africans.

Co-chairperson of the constitutional review committee Vincent Smith during a media briefing in Kempton Park, Johannesburg 24 June 2018. The committee is tasked with reviewing Section 25 of the Constitution for the expropriation of land without compensation. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG – Parliament's Joint Constitutional Review Committee says it will consider the quality of the arguments and not merely the number of submissions on whether to amend the Constitution.

The committee has received more than 700,000 submissions and has had to appoint a service provider to assist with analysing them.

Public hearing across the country are expected to kick off this week.

Committee chairperson Vincent Smith says the hearings which will be hosted at venues across the country over the next month are open to all South Africans.

He says provision has been made for working citizens.

“We’ve deliberately taken the decision that wherever we go, we’d want to have at least one weekend day. the composition is every South African, owners of land, workers of the land, ordinary South Africans, the youth.”

Smith says they will be considering opinions from legal experts, written submissions made by the public and opinions expressed at the hearings to make a recommendation.

He says their recommendations should be made by the end of September, then depending on the outcome another committee will take over the amendment process.

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