MPs resume public hearings to tackle Constitutional rights relating land reform

The coronavirus pandemic and lockdown had halted the process. Its term expired in May before it could complete its mandate.

Parliament of South Africa in Cape Town. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - The parliamentary ad hoc committee tasked with amending the Constitution relating to land reform is expected to resume public hearings in three provinces.

The coronavirus pandemic and lockdown had halted the process. Its term expired in May before it could complete its mandate.

MPs sitting on the committee met on Thursday for the first time in months.

As part of the public hearings, the ad hoc committee was considering having two sessions a day instead of one so as to catch up on lost time. COVID-19 lockdown regulations prohibited gatherings larger than 250 people.

Committee Chairperson Mathole Motshekga said around 400 people attended previous hearings, so it would make sense to have two sessions a day.

“The Ad Hoc Committee to Initiate and Introduce Legislation Amending Section 25 of the Constitution today adopted its draft programme. It resolved to resume the public hearings in three provinces that it could not visit due to the COVID-19-related lockdown,” the committee said in a statement.

“The committee also resolved to consider the proposal to have two sessions of hearings per day, as lockdown regulations on level 1 prohibits gatherings larger than 250 people. Committee Chairperson Dr Mathole Motshekga said around 400 people attended previous hearings so it makes sense to have two sessions.”

The committee was expected to resume hearings in two groups starting in Limpopo and the Northern Cape on 22 October. The same process would be followed in the Western Cape on 30 October.

MPs further resolved they would request a legal opinion on whether written submissions should be accepted from those with co-morbidities who could not attend the gatherings due to fears of contracting the coronavirus.

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