File picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency (ANA)
Johannesburg - The expropriation Amendment Bill, which provides for just and equitable compensation is set to be withdrawn from the parliamentary processes until further notice.

This came after the public works portfolio committee decided on Tuesday to request the National Assembly to withdraw the bill, owing to the process that is currently under way to consider land expropriation without compensation.

The bill, which was passed in 2016, was sent back to Parliament by former president Jacob Zuma for reconsideration due to the lack of consultation.

It had yet to be reconsidered when the constitutional review committee was tasked this year to look into amending the Constitution to provide land expropriation without compensation.

Committee chairperson Humphrey Mmemezi said the bill could not sit with the committee forever and that a decision had to be taken on its future.

“In terms of what is happening in South Africa, we thought it is necessary to withdraw the bill,” he said before citing joint rules for the bill’s withdrawal.

He said once withdrawn, the minister would immediately come back with a revised bill.

“It would take into account what the ad hoc committee would have decided.”

Briefing the committee, Public Works Deputy Minister Jeremy Cronin said both land and expropriation were very emotional issues.

Cronin urged Parliament and the committee in particular to understand the country’s responsibility on the situation.

He said there was a need to send out a clear signal to those concerned about the constitutionality of land expropriation without compensation and to be implicit in the Constitution that there will be no Zimbabwean-style land grabs.

“We think the best way of signalling this is to produce a revised version of the bill We want to indicate in expropriation for land reform that there be specific conditions under which it might be just and equitable.”

Political Bureau