Valli Moosa. File photo: Reuters
Parliament - Former cabinet minister Valli Moosa has warned that the failure of land reform in the country is not because of Section 25 of the Constitution.

However, he said the failure was due to certain things, but did not elaborate.

Moosa was one of the experts briefing the ad hoc committee on the expropriation of land without compensation.

He said during the drafting of the Constitution, in the 1990s, he invested a lot of time on Section 25.

Moosa told MPs there was a need for land reform in the country.

He said he was satisfied they took the correct decision on the property clause in the constitution.

“I genuinely believe the lack of land reform is not because of section 25, but because of certain things,” he said.

Moosa also said if section 25 was amended people should not be worried about it.

“I don’t think anybody should get nervous about having another look at it,” he said.

When he was asked by MPs why the expropriation of land without compensation was not included in the Constitution, Moosa said there had been a big debate at the time.

Sibusiso Mncwabe of the National Freedom Party said this clause should have been included in the Constitution in the 1990s.

Moosa said this had been part of the big debate in the negotiations.

“Why the constitution did not say expropriation of land without compensation in the first instance, there was in the first place a big debate whether the constitution should say anything about property rights. It is a fundamental human right, sitting side by side with the freedom of expression, and other such rights. Many countries in the world do not have property rights. In South Africa, a decision was taken to have the property clause,” he said.

The former minister told the ad hoc committee that Parliament should also be more involved in overseeing land reform and land redistribution.

Retired Constitutional Court judge Albie Sachs said an amendment to the constitution should not be a rushed process as it requires time.

“When we drafted the constitution it’s an entrenchment, it’s not easy for amendment for fair weather and bad weather. I have been alarmed that the amendment has to be done by the present Parliament,” said Sachs.

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