Cape Town - Parliament is scheduled to consider early next month the issue of the report that will recommend the amendment of the Constitution to allow for expropriation of land without compensation.
Briefing the National Assembly Programme Committee on Thursday, the institution’s secretary, Masibulele Xaso, said the report was now on the list of items for consideration by the House.
“We just want to indicate that the report is currently under further business in the order paper. That means it is ready for consideration by the House on a date to be determined by the House,” Xaso said.
Although he initially said the programme committee whip, Mina Lesoma, would indicate the date for consideration of the report, National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said the national legislature was left literally with three weeks before it went into the December holidays.
“It is important to get an understanding of where we are and what the preparations are,” Mapisa-Nqakula said.
According to Lesoma, the Section 25 Committee report would be scheduled for December 7.
“It will be in the first week of December before we rise,” she said.
This was agreed to by the committee, and Mapisa-Nqakula said: “If there are any changes, we will be advised accordingly.”
The Section 25 Committee adopted its report for tabling to the National Assembly in September.
The debate on the report was delayed when Parliament went into an early constituency period to allow parties to campaign for the local government elections.
This was after the committee approved the 18th constitutional amendment bill following the consideration of the second round of written submissions by the public.
The bill provides for circumstances where land can be expropriated for land reform and the compensation payable may be nil.
When the report was put up for adoption by the ANC in the ad hoc committee, EFF deputy leader Floyd Shivambu opposed it.
He said it represented a fundamental departure from the resolution of the National Assembly that was taken on February 27, 2018, proposing a constitutional amendment providing for a future land tenure regime with the state as custodian of all land.
DA MP Annelie Lotriet had requested that her party reserve its position while Freedom Front Plus chief whip Corne Mulder had asked to consult with his party caucus on the report.
Parliament needs a two thirds majority to pass the bill that will allow the Constitution to be amended.
There are doubts whether the proposed bill would obtain the required two thirds majority considering that the EFF is unhappy with the legislation in its current form.
The party has used the expropriation of land without expropriation as one of the items when it entered into negotiations for coalition agreements in hung municipalities.