BLF, Orania Movement to make submissions at Parly land hearings

The second day of public hearings at Parliament will also see Agri-SA and the National African Farmers’ Union having their say.

A screengrab of MPs resuming public hearings on whether to amend the Constitution to allow for land expropriation without compensation.

CAPE TOWN - Black First Land First and the Orania Movement are among the organisations set to make submissions on Wednesday on whether the Constitution should be amended to make provision for expropriation without compensation.

The second day of public hearings at Parliament will also see AgriSA and the National African Farmers’ Union having their say.

There was broad consensus among academics, land rights bodies and NGOs who appeared on Tuesday that changing the Constitution would not fix the deep-seated problems hampering land reform, while Cosatu said it would support any amendment if it was necessary.

Cosatu agreed with most presenters that the failure of land reform lies with the government not using the powers it already has under the Constitution to expropriate land without compensation. Parliamentary coordinator, Matthew Parks, says the Expropriation Bill offers a way forward.

“For us, as Cosatu, the main vehicle to address the landless crisis is the Expropriation Bill. We’ve supported it and been involved extensively with it at Nedlac and we’ve noted that even some business parties have supported it as a reasonable and progressive way forward. As Cosatu, we’re quite disappointed that Parliament has taken so long to deal with it.”

Cosatu’s also expressed disappointment over the slow progress of other key land reform legislation, saying if the government is serious about dealing with the issue, it should also ensure that these bills are expedited.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)