LAND EXPROPRIATION WITHOUT COMPENSATION

 

Introduction

At the ANC's 54th conference in Johannesburg in December 2017, the ruling party adopted a resolution to allow expropriation of land without compensation, subject to certain conditions.

"[The] conference resolved that the ANC should, as a matter of policy, pursue expropriation of land without compensation. This should be pursued without destabilising the agricultural sector, without endangering food security in our country and without undermining economic growth and job creation," the ANC's conference declaration reads.

Subsequent to the conference, South Africa inaugurated a new president, Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa on the 15th of February 2018. In this State of the Nation address on the same day he inter alia said the following:

  • “Agriculture presents one of the greatest opportunities to significantly grow the economy and create jobs.
  • Agriculture made the largest contribution, by a significant margin, to the improved growth of our economy in the second and third quarters of 2017.
  • This year, we will take decisive action to realise the enormous economic potential of agriculture.
  • We will accelerate our land redistribution programme not only to redress a grave historical injustice, but also to bring more producers into the agricultural sector and to make more land available for cultivation.
  • We will pursue a comprehensive approach that makes effective use of all the mechanisms at our disposal.
  • Guided by the resolutions of the 54th National Conference of the governing party, this approach will include the expropriation of land without compensation.
  • We are determined that expropriation without compensation should be implemented in a way that increases agricultural production, improves food security and ensure that the land is returned to those from whom it was taken under colonialism and apartheid.
  • Government will undertake a process of consultation to determine the modalities of the implementation of this resolution.
  • We make a special call to financial institutions to be our partners in mobilising resources to accelerate the land redistribution programme as increased investment will be needed in this sector.”

Subsequently on 28 February 2018, the National Assembly debated a motion by the EFF in terms of which aforesaid tabled a motion for the establishment of an ad-hoc committee to review and amend section 25 of the Constitution to make it possible for the state to expropriate land in the public interest, without compensation.

The ANC proposed an amendment to the motion, which was adopted, that the Constitutional Review Committee (herein after referred to as “CRWC”) "undertake a process of consultation to determine the modalities of the governing party resolution".

The Constitutional Review Committee

The committee comprises members of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces. ANC MPs Lewis Nzimade and Vincent Smith are the co-chairpersons. Among the 22 members of the committee are the ANC's Mathole Motshekga and Francois Beukman (who both served on the ad-hoc committees on Nkandla), the DA's James Selfe and Glynnis Breytenbach and the EFF's Floyd Shivambu.

This committee deals with proposals to amend the Constitution, which can be submitted by the public. They will have hearings where members of the public, civil society and parties can present their proposals. The National Assembly gave the committee a deadline of 30 August 2018 to report back on its work.

If the committee decides to indeed amend the Constitution , it will have to draft the amendment.

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