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Constitutional amendment on land reform faces another delay

The parliamentary committee tasked with amending Section 25 of the supreme law of the land is unable to complete its work in time and is likely to ask for an extension.

Parliament of South Africa in Cape Town. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The move towards changing the Constitution to allow for the expropriation of land without compensation is set to be further delayed.

The parliamentary committee tasked with amending Section 25 of the supreme law of the land is unable to complete its work in time and is likely to ask for an extension.

The committee has conducted extensive public hearings across South Africa and was supposed to report by the end of the month.

The multi-party committee’s job is to craft a bill changing Section 25 of the Constitution.

This won’t be the first time its deadline has been extended. It was first due to report back at the end of March – then given until the end of May.

House chairperson Cedrick Frolick says that due to the COVID-19 crisis, the work couldn’t be completed before the committee’s term expired.

“The ad hoc committee could not proceed with its work since the business of Parliament was suspended in March.”

The committee will be meeting at 6pm on Friday to discuss the extension of its mandate.

It’s likely a request for this will come before the house on Wednesday, when the first plenary sitting since the lockdown will take place. A one-third majority of the 400-member house is needed to approve a new deadline.

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