South Africa: SA Gears Up for Public Hearings On Land - but Logistical Challenges Are Immense

A young boy stands outside an abandoned house in Dingleton in the Northern Cape (file photo).

On Monday 26 June 2018, Parliament will embark on six weeks' worth of public hearings around South Africa. The topic: land expropriation without compensation. The aim: to make all South Africans feel that their voices have been heard on this most emotive of issues. While it's impossible to know how many people intend showing up to the meetings, one figure suggests that the answer will be "loads": the almost 800,000 written submissions that Parliament has already received on the land issue.

In the absence of holding a referendum, how do you gauge the feelings of an entire nation on one particular topic?

By hosting public meetings in all nine South African provinces, where absolutely anyone can arrive and address a parliamentary committee on the matter.

That's the theory, at least. When Parliament's constitutional review committee takes to the road, it is with the aim of granting an ear to all South Africans who wish to express their views on land expropriation without compensation.

"All South Africans must utilise the process," urged ANC MP Francois Beukman at the final...

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