Land reform: 'If Constitution is amended, admin processes have to be followed'

During a meeting on Thursday, Contralesa and the EFF agreed that the state must be the overall custodian of land in the country.

Contralesa held a press briefing in Johannesburg with the EFF on 5 July 2018 where it announced that it agrees with the party that Section 25 of the Constitution must be amended to allow for expropriation of land without compensation. Picture: Clement Manyathela/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) says if its calls for Section 25 of the Constitution to be amended materialise, more administrative processes have to be followed before citizens can have access to land.

The Congress of Traditional leaders of South Africa (Contralesa) is supporting the party's calls for the Constitution to be amended to allow for expropriation of land without compensation.

During a meeting on Thursday, Contralesa and the EFF agreed that the state must be the overall custodian of land in the country.

The EFF's general secretary Godrich Gardee says: “We did not look directly from the Constitution to expropriation. We did an effect-based to a provision of the Constitution through a legislation of general application.”

Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini and the Inkatha Freedom Party's Mangosuthu Buthelezi have disagreed with a recommendation that land under the Ingonyama Trust also be placed under government control.

A team of ministers has been appointed by government to meet with traditional leaders to address their concerns over the looming changes in legislation.

Meanwhile, Cabinet has established a team of ministers to engage with traditional leaders to allay their fears surrounding the proposed amendment to section 25 of the Constitution to allow expropriation of land without compensation.

Communication Minister Nomvula Mokonyane made the announcement at a post-Cabinet meeting briefing in Pretoria on Thursday.

Mokonyane says the ministers will meet with traditional leaders as well as the Ingonyama Trust to discuss the proposed changes to the Constitution.

She stressed that the public hearings are not an expression of government’s position.

“These are initiatives of the parliamentary process. Government is committed to ensuring that we focus on what’s of primary importance, the disposition of the South Africans with regard to land ownership and the growing of the economy.”

Cooperative Governance Minister Zweli Mkhize is expected to start the talks on Friday.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)