Smith slams political parties for scripting arguments on land expropriation

The chairperson of Parliament's Review Committee on Land, Vincent Smith says far too many political parties have been scripting arguments for their members to make the same presentations before MPs.

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 – The chairperson of Parliament's Review Committee on Land, Vincent Smith, says that the scripting of arguments by political parties during land expropriation hearings is a futile exercise that lengthens the process unnecessarily.

A parliamentary delegation was in the North West on Wednesday for oral submissions on whether to amend Section 25 of the Constitution to allow for the expropriation of land without compensation.

Smith says that far too many political parties have been scripting arguments for their members to make the same presentations before Members of Parliament.

“It doesn’t help you to give the same argument one hundred times. Political parties work with individuals and give the script, that’s one argument. It’s not a hundred arguments.”

He says they are satisfied with the process in the North West.

“I think that regardless of certain areas where we need to ask people to behave, by and large the progress is there.”

The committee moves to Rustenburg on Thursday for the final leg of hearings in the province.

Parliament has finalised a programme for countrywide hearings.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)