Johannesburg - The Helen Suzman Foundation (HSF) says the government's lack of political will in implementing land reform is the real issue and thus there is no need to amend Section 25 of the Constitution.
The organisation made submissions to Parliament in line with open public hearings on the matter. Concerned citizens had until Friday to make submissions on the matter, but on Thursday the ad hoc committee on land expropriation voted to extend the deadline until the end of February.
The foundation said the issue with land reform had nothing to do with the Constitution, but a lack of political will.
"The obstacle to land reform is not the Constitution, but rather a lack of political will to implement an effective land reform policy. The Government’s land reform efforts have been beset with corruption, inefficiency and incompetence. It has been a failure. In the words of a recent Constitutional Court judgment on the activities of the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, “… it has displayed a patent incapacity or inability to get the job done," the foundation said in its submission.
"In targeting Section 25 of the Constitution, the government is trying to use the Constitution as a convenient excuse for its lack of progress on land reform. The drive to adopt this constitutional amendment is not the result of legal considerations. It is the obvious result of political pressure and the perceived need by Government to show that something tangible is actually being done. Against the above background, the HSF submits that the Bill should be withdrawn."