South Africa: Committee adopts report on expropriation of land without compensation

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EFF President Julius Malema has been at the forefront in the campaign for land expropriation without compensation to address racial disparities in ownership that persist more than two decades after apartheid’s demise in 1994.

South Africa’s Joint Constitutional Review Committee (JCRC) on Thursday adopted a report in favour of a constitutional amendment that will not pave way for the expropriation of land without compensation.

Parliament said the ruling African National Congress and opposition Economic Freedom Fighters and the National Freedom Party voted in favour of the report, while the Democratic Alliance and the Congress of the People voted against the committee report.

“The Joint Constitutional Review Committee (JCRC) today adopted its report in favour of an amendment of section 25 of the Constitution to make it possible for the state to expropriate land without compensation in the public interest,” Parliament said in a statement.

The motion had been sponsored by EFF’s Floyd Shivambu, recommending that the constitution needed to be amended to enable the redistribution of land without compensation.

The DA’s Annelie Lotriet tabled a different motion to counter Shivambu’s, recommending that the constitution should not be amended because it already provided for land reforms.

The JCRC was instructed by the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces to ascertain whether a review of section 25 of the Constitution and other clauses is necessary, to make it possible for the state to expropriate land in the public interest without compensation, and also to propose constitutional amendments where necessary.

The land expropriation without compensation debate has been a major talk in South Africa for years, with fiery EFF President Julius Malema calling for its implementation to address racial disparities in ownership that persist more than two decades after apartheid’s demise in 1994.

The South African government has in the past been condemned for its plan to expropriate land without compensation.

With threats of consequences, President Cyril Ramaphosa in September said no country would impose sanctions on his country over the government’s plans to redistribute land to address racial disparities in ownership.

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