MPs deliberating on a draft report into whether Section 25 of the Constitution should be amended to allow for the expropriation of land without compensation. Photo: Chantall Presence / ANA

PARLIAMENT - Members of Parliament (MPs) on Thursday started considering a draft report dealing with whether the property clause in the Constitution needed to be amended to allow the State to expropriate land without compensation.

According to the draft report, tabled in the Constitutional Review Committee, public hearings held throughout the country showed "overwhelming support" for amending Section 25 of the Constitution. 

"The public hearings demonstrated an overwhelming support for a Constitutional amendment and expropriation of land without compensation," the draft report said.

"It has demonstrated arguments that suggest that the Constitution was an impediment to expropriation of land without compensation, therefore Parliamentshould amend Section 25. In this line of argument, Section 25 (1) 25 (2) (b) and 25 (3) were referred to as part of the problem. In this view, it was so because these Sections protect illegitimate property rights acquired under the colonial and apartheid regimes."

However, written submissions and presenters who came to Parliament to put their views across were mostly against an amendment.

"However, only 449 522 were valid, and analysis could be performed based on the contents of the submission. The inquiries, unrelated, bland and duplicate submissions were excluded from the analysis and that brought the number down from 630 609 to 449 522."

According to the draft report, 65% of those who wrote to the committee were opposed to changing the amendment, 35% were in favour and one percent were undecided. 

MPs will sit again next week to continue working through the draft report.

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African News Agency (ANA)