Land reform in 2021: It's time for Parliament to say what it wants

Parliament now has to come up with what it wants in the amendment of land policies.

FILE: AgriSA officials addressing MPs during public hearings on land reform at Parliament. Picture: @ParliamentofRSA/Twitter.

CAPE TOWN - Parliament is expected to conclude legislation allowing for the expropriation of land without compensation this year - that is of course, barring any further delays to the process.

The ad hoc committee tasked with formulating the legislation concluded public hearings in November 2020, which happened under tight COVID-19 restrictions in all nine provinces.

READ: 2020 ends without formalisation of SA's land reform plan

When the amendment is eventually passed, it will make it legal for the state to expropriate land without paying for it. While the process has been beset by court cases, COVID-19 and extending public hearings, it is now time for Parliament to say what it needs introduced.

Two teams of members of Parliament were deployed to different provinces and districts to hear what South Africans want the land legislation to look like. The second round of public hearings since 2018 saw smaller crowds due to COVID-19.

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Committee chairperson Mathole Motshekga told the hearings the question of whether land expropriation was actually necessary was already answered during the first round of hearings.

He said Parliament now had to come up with what type of amendment should be introduced.

“We are saying, in the desired amendment, what is the content that you want to see in [it]?”

Whether the question on the content of the amendment will be answered soon is anyone’s guess as the land question remains unanswered in South Africa.

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