Public hearings on land reforms starts in Gauteng
Johannesburg - The public hearings into the expropriation of land without compensation is moving into Gauteng for the next three days, starting from Thursday.
This follows other public hearings in the Free State, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal.
Chairperson of the ad hoc committee on land expropriation Dr Mathole Motshekga said the public hearings give members of the communities an opportunity to raise their views on the matter.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has also called for the public to attend the hearings in their numbers.
The ANC and the EFF support amendments to the Constitution to allow for the expropriation of land without compensation.
But the DA, ACDP, Freedom Front Plus and other smaller parties reject land expropriation saying it will cripple the economy.
Ramaphosa has insisted that this will be done within the confines of the law and the Constitution.
He also said land grabs will not be allowed.
Some of the departments have begun releasing state-owned land for redistribution.
The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development was forced to stop the restitution process after the Constitutional Court found a few years ago that the process of finalising the Restitution Land Rights Act was flawed.
The government has said it would follow all land reform programmes to ensure access to land.
Ramaphosa also told traditional leaders in Parliament two weeks ago they were key in land reform.
But the banks and other agricultural organisations have warned that the expropriation of land without compensation would severely impact on the economy.
Commercial farmers are said to be sitting on billions of rand in loans from the banks. However, the government has said land reform was necessary to address the past injustices.
Motshekga said the hearings would provide an opportunity for all the role players to find common ground.
Parliament has also granted the ad hoc committee until the end of May to finalise its work.
The deadline was initially set for the end of March for the committee to conclude its work, but opposition parties complained the time for written submissions was short.
In its work, the ad hoc committee will still have to go through the written submissions. The DA has said they want the committee to go through every submission.
The committee received thousands of written submissions.
This was a sticking point in 2018 when the process to expropriate land started.