MPs have until May 3 to receive mandate on land expropriation
Cape Town - Parliamentarians serving on the ad hoc committee on Section 25 were on Friday given until May 3 to seek a mandate from their parties on the actual drafting of the bill aimed to amend the Constitution.
The bill seeks to allow for the explicit expropriation of land without compensation in the Constitution.
This happened when the committee met to adopt the report on the public hearings after the conclusion of oral submissions last week.
Committee chairperson Mathole Motshekga said the members had from the outset departed from the premise that the parliamentary system was representative and participatory.
He said they were guided by the Constitution, court decisions and the rules of Parliament in their work.
“When concerns were raised that the bill was published during the festive period, we extended the period for submissions,” he said.
Motshekga added that despite the disruptions by Covid-19, they conducted successful public hearings in all nine provinces and invited some interest groups and relevant ministers to make oral presentations.
“At the last sitting we finalised the public hearing process and required the administration to prepare a consolidated report for adoption at this meeting. The adoption will open the door for us to begin with consideration of the draft amendment bill based on the public input and submissions by departments.”
MPs agreed to adopt the report with annexures from the written submission made by interest groups and use the report as working document for their deliberations on the bill.
The report had incorporated the work done on the oral submissions after it emerged that there were gaps in capturing some of the oral submissions.
Motshekga said the committee members would be given a week or so to return to their principals to seek a mandate on the text of the bill.
“It would be reasonable to give members time to seek a mandate. I propose deliberation begin on May 5. This will give us sufficient time to conclude the work of this ad hoc committee by May 21,” Motshekga said.
After Motshekga experienced glitches with connecting to the virtual meeting, it was decided that MPs serving in the committee have until May 3 to obtain views form their parties.
Acting chairperson Mina Lesoma ruled that they would meet next Friday to adopt minutes of the previous meetings and then reconvene on May 5 to “look at the principal work of the committee”.