Picture: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Cape Town - Parliament has agreed to speed up the process for a bill to amend the Constitution to allow for the expropriation of land without compensation.

The programming committee said the ad hoc committee on the expropriation of land without compensation, chaired by senior ANC MP Thoko Didiza, would meet next Friday to finalise its programme.

The ANC had initially said it was shelving the discussions on land expropriation until after the elections in May.

However, the ad hoc committee will meet to determine its programme and scope before the elections.

The ANC took a resolution at its conference in Nasrec in 2017 to amend Section 25 of the Constitution to allow for the expropriation of land without compensation.

EFF deputy leader Floyd Shivambu this week, during the debate on the State of the Nation Address (Sona), said despite this resolution, the ANC has not acted.

But President Cyril Ramaphosa said it was on track with the process and said in his address that they will release public land for this process.

An audit by the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform found there were land parcels that belonged to the state that had not been used. The department also found that the state would spend billions of rand in the land reform programme.

Ramaphosa said he had set up an inter-ministerial committee on land reform which is chaired by Deputy President David Mabuza.

The issue of land expropriation has become a big issue in Parliament with the DA in the Sona debate promising to take the matter to court.

The DA’s Thandeka Mbabama said they believe the process followed by the Constitutional Review Committee was flawed.

The DA and other opposition parties argued that the committee had not considered thousands of written submissions before the report was adopted by Parliament.

In the report, it was found that more than 60% of the written submissions had objected to the expropriation of land without compensation.

The setting up of the ad hoc committee on the expropriation of land without compensation will move in the direction of dealing with a bill to amend the constitution.

However, the ad hoc committee will know next Friday how soon this process will be finalised.

Political Bureau