PARLIAMENT - MPs sitting on a committee set up by Parliament to look into the possible amendment of the property clause in the South African Constitution to speed up land reform in the country received an induction by legal experts, academics, agricultural groups and the banking sector.
The colloquium is meant to prepare MPs ahead of them embarking on series of public hearings across all the provinces in the country on expropriating land without compensation.
In his opening remarks, committee co-chairman Vincent Smith said the process was all about disrupting the apartheid era spatial planning which still exists 24 years into South Africa's democracy. In addition MPs needed to ensure the decisions they made did not impact food security.
"Whatever we do as Parliament, we must do so with the necessary maturity and the necessary soberness," said Smith.
The Constitutional Review Committee was set up earlier this year after Parliament adopted a resolution to bring about expropriation land without compensation given the slow progress of post-apartheid land redistribution in South Africa.
Between 1994 (the advent of democracy in South Africa) and 2014, only three million hectares of land was restored. A land audit report showed that whites, a minority in South Africa, still owned around 72 percent of land, much of which was taken from blacks since colonialism from the 1600s onwards.
- African News Agency (ANA)