In December 2019 and January 2020, the ad hoc Committee to Initiate and Introduce Legislation Amending Section 25 of the Constitution invited stakeholders and interested persons to submit written submissions on the Draft Constitution Eighteenth Amendment Bill [B – 2019].
The committee received and deliberated on proposals received from members of the public. The committee requests further submissions on proposals to amend the Constitution so as to provide that:
- Where land and any improvements thereon are expropriated for the purposes of land reform, the amount of compensation payable may be nil;
- That national legislation must provide circumstances where the amount of compensation is nil;
- Land should be a common heritage of all citizens that the state must safeguard for future generations;
- Conditions should be fostered to enable state custodianship of certain land in order for citizens to gain access to land on an equitable basis; and
- To provide for matters connected therewith.
The Ad Hoc Committee to Initiate and Introduce Legislation Amending Section 25 of the Constitution calls for public comment on the revised 18th Constitutional Amendment Bill, which will see the expropriation of land without compensation embedded in the Constitution.
Committee Chairperson Dr Mathole Motshekga said: “The revised Bill is the product of the initial Bill on the matter followed by a comprehensive public participation process. This was followed by intensive deliberations by the committee on what came out of the public participation process in comparison to what is in the initial Bill. The committee has resolved to open the process up again as the initial Bill was a compromised Bill agreed to merely to kick-start the process.”
The purpose of the revised Constitution 18th Amendment Bill is to amend section 25 of the Constitution so as to provide that where land is expropriated for land reform, the amount of compensation payable may be nil. Further, to clarify that nil compensation is a legitimate option for land reform, so as to address the historic wrongs caused by the arbitrary dispossession of land, and in so doing ensure equitable access to land and further empower the majority of South Africans to be productive participants in ownership, food security and agricultural reform programmes.
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