Durban - The IFP has slammed as "rushed" the report adopted by the Constitutional Review Committee on Thursday on amending Section 25 of the Constitution to allow for land expropriation without compensation. The party said the report was adopted without considering 600 000 written submissions.

IFP spokesperson and member of the Constitutional Review Committee, Inkosi EM Buthelezi, said the party was dismayed by the fact that the committee missed a good opportunity to unite the country and address the wounds of the past. 

"The attitude expressed by certain political parties within the committee and throughout the deliberations has shown that they truly don’t care about the ramifications that this amendment to the Constitution may have on all South Africans. It is indeed a sad day for our democracy as the ANC, EFF, UDM and NFP have colluded to push through an unfinished report, without considering the over 600 000 written submission made to Parliament which clearly were against expropriating land without compensation," said Buthelezi.

He said it was wholly untrue that those who are opposed to the amendment of Section 25 of the Constitution were against land reform. "Every person who participated in this process agreed to the expropriation of land, in the public interest, but the major differences were on compensation."

He said the party's position has always been that land must be expropriated but with reasonable compensation and with improved government policies to speed up land reform. The party had noted the following: 

  • Government should first clarify the process as to how land would be managed and the qualifying criterion as to how the same land would be redistributed.
  • The state should first have demonstrated its ability by redistributing the land which it currently owns. 
  • The state should first address the existing challenges with land redistribution to ensure any land that is redistributed remains productive. 
  • Government should produce clear legislation and policies that will give effect to the very section without having to amend the Constitution. 

The Independent on Saturday