farm attack

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Land expropriation: South Africa promised answers in November

The Joint Constitutional Review Committee on land expropriation without compensation says that it will release its findings in two months.

farm attack

Image via Wikimedia Commons

South Africa will have to wait until November to learn the fate regarding possible Constitutional amendments allowing for land expropriation without compensation.

This is the word from the Joint Constitutional Review Committee tasked with processing national input on the matter, which includes written and oral submissions. News24 reported that while the committee was due to report its findings on Friday, it has requested more time to asses all submissions fairly.

Yet another delay in findings relating to land expropriation

This isn’t the first time the committee has asked for an extension on its report. The initial deadline had been set for 30 August, but preliminary findings, which pointed against the populist vote, saw members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and African National Congress (ANC) call for a revaluation.

The contentious issue of land expropriation without compensation has been left on tenterhooks following numerous stumbling blocks encountered by the ruling party, most relating to the ANC’s own internal communication which has led to embarrassing contradictions relating to policy.

The strangest of these inconsistencies being the ANC’s position on section 25 of the Constitution. President Cyril Ramaphosa infamously announced his support for amendments to the Constitution, while concurrently admitting that the ANC could already expropriate land without compensation under the existing Constitution.

Land expropriation: the Constitutional process

Add in some controversy surrounding US President Donald Trump’s tweet regarding South Africa and land expropriation, coupled with differences in reform policy between the ANC and EFF, and you’ve got a highly agitated uneasy situation surrounding the amendment of section 25 of the Constitution.

Lewis Nzimande, Chairperson of the Joint Constitutional Review Committee, issued a statement on Thursday, informing members of parliament that his panel’s findings would take longer to produce due to the increased volume of input received in the last month. The statement, which requests an extension, reads:

“We have therefore already made a request to the presiding officers for an extension of the deadline, stating our reasons. We expect the request to be successful.

In its request for a postponement the committee did not request a specific date, keeping in mind the busy parliamentary calendar in the fourth quarter of the year. All committees of Parliament will be concerned with budget review and recommendations reports (BRRRs) until the end of October, which will receive preference. The committee thus had to take this into consideration.

It is, therefore, expected that the committee will finalise its work by November 2018.”

If the Constitutional Review Committee finds that the Constitution of South Africa should be amended to allow for land expropriation without compensation – and Parliament agrees – then the Portfolio Committee on Justice will be tasked with drafting the amendment to the Constitution.