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Opposition parties: Land expropriation fight has just begun

While all parties represented in Parliament support land reform, there are sharp divisions on how this should be done.

The constitutional review committee has on 15 November 2018 adopted its final report that recommends the amendment of Section 25 of the Constitution. Picture: @ParliamentofRSA/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - Opposition parties say the fight over changing the Constitution to allow for land expropriation without compensation has only just begun.

This follows Parliament's constitutional review committee adopting its final report calling for the property clause to be amended to allow the state to expropriate land without compensation in an effort to speed up land reform.

While all parties represented in Parliament support land reform, there are sharp divisions on how this should be done.

The Democratic Alliance (DA), Congress of the People, Inkatha Freedom Party, African Christian Democratic Party and Freedom Front Plus (FF+) are all opposed to the Constitution being changed.

The FF+ described Thursday’s decision as "drastic", saying the matter is far from over.

The party's chief whip Corne Mulder has also not ruled out the possibility of a legal challenge to set the committee's decision aside, arguing that the process followed was flawed and riddled with errors.

“The EFF thinks it’s a wonderful day, the ANC doesn’t know what’s going on - that’s nothing new - but the process will take its own view. Obviously, we oppose this very much so. This is not the end, it’s just the beginning of a process.”

The DA says the adoption of the report was fatally flawed and an attempt to expedite election prospects of the African National Congress and Economic Freedom Fighters.

The DA's Thandeko Mbabama said: "The opposition is of the view that the final report is flawed as integral parts of the report are yet to be finalised."

Parliament is now expected to debate and adopt the committee’s report at the end of November before it enters the next phase of what's likely to be a lengthy process.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)