Land expropriation committee backtracks on decision to increase districts for public hearings
Cape Town - The ad hoc committee on land expropriation has backtracked on its decision to increase the number of districts for public hearings in amendments to section 25 of the Constitution.
The committee had initially agreed to a proposal by the DA that the number of districts in the Western Cape be increased from four to six regions.
DA MP Annelie Lotriet had last week proposed that in the Western Cape they want the public hearings to be held in all six regions.
But at a meeting on Friday the committee backtracked on that decision, and said it would stick to the original list of four regions in the Western Cape to have public hearings.
Committee chairperson Mathole Motshekga said this would settle the other issue raised that other provinces would push to have more public hearings. This was after the process had been concluded in those provinces.
"I was also persuaded that if we take a view that in the Western Cape we should go to all districts then why don't we do the same with all districts? I agree, if we don't increase venues (in the Western Cape) we may run out of time and Parliament will not give us another extension," said Motshekga.
But ANC MPs said in the Northern Cape they must increase the number of districts from three to four because of the size of the province and that land was central there.
Dibolelo Mahlatsi of the ANC said they needed to increase the number of regions in the Northern Cape from three to four.
"I don't get the logic of the reduction of venues in the Northern Cape. In the Northern Cape there are five districts and it is (more) vast than any other province. Yes, we are in Covid-19, we did not anticipate this. But to limit it to three districts I don't think we will be doing justice to the matter," said Mahlatsi.
Another ANC MP, Regina Lesoma, backed Mahlatsi that the number of districts in the Northern Cape be increased from three to four because of its size.
Motshekga agreed to the proposal and said the public hearings will resume in Limpopo next week.