ANC caucus facing difficulty passing land expropriation bill

Those opposed to land expropriation without compensation said sending the Bill to the National Assembly was just a mere formality because the ANC would not have the two thirds majority.

FILE: ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte. Picture: Christa van der Walt/Eyewitness News

CAPE TOWN - The African National Congress (ANC) has not ruled out the possibility of being unable to pass landmark legislation on land expropriation without compensation.

The ANC has 230 seats in the National Assembly and will need at least 260 to reach the required two-thirds majority when MPs finally consider the amendment after the November elections.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) were opposed to the amendment bill before it was adopted by the parliamentary ad hoc committee tasked with dealing with the issue, meaning the ANC will most likely not have it passed.

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Those opposed to land expropriation without compensation said sending the Bill to the National Assembly was just a mere formality because the ANC would not have the two thirds majority.

But ANC acting secretary general Jessie Duarte on Monday said even if the 18 Constitutional Amendment Bill is not passed, land expropriation without compensation would be catered for in certain circumstances.

“The fact of the matter is that when expropriate of land is not what we want, what we did want to do was have a national participation of this very vital and important question, and we've gone through that,” she said.

Duarte said the ANC had considered the numbers it required and had not ruled out not being able to reach the threshold.

“If there is no vote that works, then it will be expropriation without compensation as the Constitution currently says,” she added.

In recent weeks, the ANC has failed to pass key legislation like the Employment Equity Amendment Bill after failing to reach a quorum to vote on the policy, which imposes stricter penalties on employers who fail to meet equity targets.

The party will find it even harder on the land vote that needs the support of most opposition parties.

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