15 November 2018

South Africa: Expropriation Bungle - Amid Steep Political Division, Constitutional Amendment Is Adopted


The first hurdle to expropriation without compensation was officially passed when Parliament's constitutional review committee on Thursday adopted its final report in favour of changing Section 25 of the Constitution. That decision will provide the electioneering ticket for political parties ahead of the 2019 poll. But an actual constitutional amendment will emerge only well after the 2019 elections - and despite the political and procedural pressure to get things right, the recommendations have been bungled.

That expropriation without compensation was a done deal was obvious from Tuesday when the joint constitutional review committee started deliberations on a final report. The fault lines ran, as they have all along in this nine-month process. The ANC and EFF on the one side for compensationless expropriation, now also supported by the United Democratic Movement (UDM) and the National Freedom Party (NFP), and just about all other opposition parties on the other, against.

That meant the numbers were down for a constitutional amendment. And Thursday's committee vote played out according to these fault lines: 12 MPs showed hands for recommending a change to Section 25 of the...

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