MPs adopt report to allow for land expropriation without compensation

Constitutional review committee adopts report to allow for land expropriation without compensation despite objections from DA and smaller parties.

FILE: Members of Parliament’s constitutional review committee gathering in Parliament on 21 June. Picture: Lindsay Dentlinger/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Constitutional Review Committee has adopted the report recommending that Section 25 of the Constitution be changed to explicitly allow for expropriation without compensation.

The committee on Thursday adopted its report on the amendment of that specific section of the Constitution.

MPs on the committee voted 12 for and 4 against the proposed change.

Parliament says it'll now be forwarded to the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) for consideration.

The committee's co-chair Lewis Nzimande says there are still other processes that need to be followed.

"When Parliament has established, as see you in this recommendation, Section C, we’re saying that Parliament must then establish a relevant structure that will then be seized with the process of effecting this recommendation or this resolution of the committee [sic]."

This comes after months of wrangling, clashes and disagreements within the committee about how to tackle the issue of land.

Members of the Democratic Alliance (DA), Congress of the People and the African Christian Democratic Party were opposed to the adoption.

Thursday saw the joint committee adopting its final report and officially throwing its weight behind a call for a constitutional amendment.

Committee co-chairperson Stan Maila said: “The committee today adopted its report in favour of amendment of Section 25 of the Constitution to make it possible for the state to expropriate land without compensation in the public interest. The African National Congress, the Economic Freedom Fighters and the National Freedom Party all voted in favour of the report.”

The official opposition dissented, saying the report should not be tabled.

DA MP Annelie Lotriet said: “The DA recommends that Section 25 of the Constitution not be amended.”