Parly close to finalising bill to allow land expropriation without compensation

The ad hoc committee tasked with the job is set to meet on Friday to finalise a second draft of the 18th Constitutional Amendment Bill.

Picture: @ParliamentofRSA/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - Parliament is just days away from finalising changes to the Constitution that will explicitly allow for the expropriation of land without compensation.

The ad hoc committee tasked with the job is set to meet on Friday to finalise a second draft of the 18th Constitutional Amendment Bill.

The committee has until 10 September to report back to the National Assembly. Because it was a constitutional amendment, the bill will require a two-thirds majority to pass when it comes to the vote.

A third draft of the bill tried to push back the cut-off date for claims from 1913 to 1800, but this was rejected by the committee, which this week instead combed through a second version of the Constitutional Amendment Bill, clause by clause.

The African National Congress (ANC) has insisted that the bill states that land to be expropriated includes any improvements on it.

The country’s biggest opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), said that there was no need to amend Section 25 of the Constitution, arguing that it already allowed for expropriation for nil compensation.

ANC MP Cyril Xaba said that including the expropriation of improvements for no compensation would make things clear. He said that it did not necessarily mean that people would not be compensated for improvements on land, such as buildings and other infrastructure.

The long process is now coming to a head, with the committee working under a deadline of 10 September to report back to the National Assembly.

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