South Africa: EWC - There May Be More to the Parliamentary Process Than Meets the Eye

Farmland in the Overberg region of the Western Cape (file photo).
opinion

The intricacies and subtleties of what is actually happening around expropriation of land without compensation can appear to be Byzantine in their complexity. That is why paying attention to what is happening in parliamentary committees is important.

It's a tedious business listening to audio clips of meetings held by parliamentary committees. But when it comes to understanding the process of amending section 25 of the Constitution to provide explicitly for expropriation without compensation as an instrument of land reform, for concerned South Africans those audio clips are a must. The Parliamentary Monitoring Group (PMG) generously provides open access to its recordings of proceedings in the ad hoc committee established by the National Assembly to initiate and introduce the necessary legislation - whereas information coming out of most other key National Assembly committees is restricted to subscribers.

A PMG clip on the committee's 3 December meeting (its penultimate for 2019) is especially revealing. This is mainly because of a discussion on limiting the role of the courts to "right to review" when expropriating land and landed property in the public interest.

On Wednesday 22 January, in a media statement on its recent National Executive Committee (NEC) lekgotla, the ANC announced that...

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