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National Assembly makes history as it adopts land report

It has been described as a historic day in the National Assembly where MPs have agreed to amend the Bill of Rights for the first time in democratic South Africa.

The constitutional review committee on 15 November 2018 adopted its final report that recommends the amendment of Section 25 of the Constitution to allow for expropriation of land without compensation. Picture: @ParliamentofRSA/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - The National Assembly has passed a report calling for a constitutional amendment to allow for land expropriation without compensation.

The African National Congress (ANC), with the support of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and other smaller parties, managed to garner enough numbers to pass the report.

The adoption of the report follows a marathon 10 months of public hearings and debates on the desirability of amending the Constitution.

It has been described as a historic day in the National Assembly where Members of Parliament (MPs) have agreed to amend the Bill of Rights for the first time in democratic South Africa.

MPs debated the report for just under two hours before finally putting it to the vote.

Two hundred and one voted in favour and 91 opposed it.

The ANC’s Stan Maila, who also co-chaired the constitutional review committee, opened the debate.

“We urge you as this House, to adopt this report. We urge you to make it possible for President Cyril Ramaphosa to, the Thuma Mina volunteer in chief, to make right what is wrong. The people want their land.”

But the Democratic Alliance (DA) and other opposition parties like the Congress of the People and the Inkatha Freedom Party rejected what they called a flawed report.

The DA’s spokesperson on land Thandeka Mbabama says: “To allow for expropriation without compensation is just a political ploy to get votes out of desperate and vulnerable people.”

It will now be left to the National Council of Provinces to debate and adopt the report on Wednesday.