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Hundreds of residents gather in CT as land hearings conclude

Parliament’s joint review committee has held over 30 hearings in all nine provinces.

A Democratic Alliance supporter holds up a poster during land hearings in Cape Town, on 4 August 2018. Picture: @Our_DA/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - Hundreds of Western Cape residents representing several communities have gathered in Cape Town for the last of the land hearings on the expropriation of land without compensation.

Parliament’s joint review committee has held over 30 hearings in all nine provinces with the last of the hearings taking place in Cape Town’s suburb of Goodwood.

The committee was instructed by the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces to see whether a review of section 25 of the Constitution and other clauses are necessary, to make it possible for the state to expropriate land.

The joint review committee says the hearings have been a great example of democracy where South Africans from all walks of life could express their views freely.

The committee co-chairperson Vincent Smith has praised the work done by the committee over the last two months.

“I can indicate to you that this is our city number 34. In 33 of the 34 cities I am confident if anyone takes us to court, we’ll be able to defend ourselves because we allowed for democracy to prevail.”

DA leader Mmusi Maimane also addressed a small crowd of supporters outside the venue, where he called on members to oppose any changes to the country’s constitution.

“Let me tell you as a South African, I am not happy with the land ownership in South Africa. I want it to change; but that change does not require changing the Constitution but changing the government.”

The committee will now report back to Parliament with recommendations before a final decision is made.

MORE HEARINGS?

Parliament's Joint Constitutional Review Committee on Land says there needs to be more public hearings on land.

The committee's Lewis Nzimande says more needs to be done before laws can be passed.

“It matters a lot. Firstly, the ANC has no draft. Once we’ve concluded with the report, we will then have to issue an amending bill. I think, in my view, that’s when it will start to matter.”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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