Parly concludes public hearings on Restitution of Land Rights Bill

In 2015, the Constitutional Court declared the Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Act of 2014 to be invalid and stipulated that land claims lodged by 1998 be finalised before the legislation is re-enacted.

FILE: Parliament of South Africa in Cape Town. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Portfolio Committee on Rural Development and Land Reform has concluded countrywide public hearings on the Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Bill.

In 2015, the Constitutional Court declared the Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Act of 2014 to be invalid and stipulated that land claims lodged by 1998 be finalised before the legislation is re-enacted.

The original deadline for lodging land claims was 1998.

The court then instructed Parliament to conduct public hearings.

Many South Africans support reopening land claims. But some have requested Parliament to ensure land claims submitted previously are settled first.

The plan was that the process would primarily provide redress for the so-called black spot removals that took place under apartheid.

Whip of the rural development and land reform committee Pumzile Mnguni said: “Maybe you could reopen, even if it means for seven to 10 years, but generally it was overwhelmingly supported. People are agreeing that the majority could not lodge during the previous lodgement windows like 1994 to 1999.”

The public hearings have also coincided with the hearings into land expropriation without compensation, a separate process.

Mnguni says by end of August, the National Assembly should have concluded its work on the bill before passing it.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)