Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Public hearings on Expropriation Bill resume in Northern Cape

By Mayibongwe Maqhina Time of article published Aug 20, 2021

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Cape Town - Parliament is scheduled to resume public hearings on the Expropriation Bill in the Northern Cape on Saturday.

On Friday, the chairperson of the portfolio committee on public works and infrastructure, Nolitha Ntobongwana, said the commithey had postponed the public hearings earlier this year due to concerns relating to the high rate of Covid-19 infections in the Northern Cape and the Free State.

“Following consultation with various stakeholders including the provincial departments of health, we felt that it was reasonably safe to resume the hearings in both the Northern Cape and Free State provinces where the rate of Covid-19 infections is currently low.

“We remain cognisant, however, about the challenges posed by Covid-19, and we will strive to ensure adherence to Covid-19 regulations and non-pharmaceutical interventions,” Ntobongwana said.

The bill seeks to repeal the Expropriation Act of 1975 in order to provide a common framework in line with the democratic constitution to guide the processes and procedures for the expropriation of property by organs of state.

It also provides for certain instances where expropriation with nil compensation may be appropriate in the public interest.

Ntobongwana said the committee had resolved to visit all provinces to garner public views on the proposed legislation, in line with Section 59 of the Constitution that compels Parliament to facilitate public involvement in the legislative and other processes of the National Assembly and the House’s committees.

“The intention of the public hearings is to enrich the bill and to ensure that it is responsive to the views and needs of individuals and groups on the ground.”

Ntobongwana said that although the committee held public hearings on weekdays and at weekends in order to afford participation to as many people, organisations and stakeholders as possible, it was mindful that the public hearings took place during the adjusted alert level 3 lockdown regulations.

The public hearings are due to be held in Pofadder on Saturday, Upington on Sunday, Kathu on Monday and Kimberley on Tuesday.

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Political Bureau

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