The Ad Hoc Committee to Initiate and Introduce Legislation Amending Section 25 of the Constitution today expressed concern about the public hearings of a sister committee, which aim to deal with enabling legislation allowing for the expropriation of land without compensation.
Committee Chairperson Dr Mathole Motshekga said he will first approach the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Public Works regarding the public hearings on the Expropriation Bill, which are "running concurrent" with the work of the ad hoc committee in its attempt to find the correct wording to allow for the expropriation of land without compensation in the Constitution. "It seems a bit like putting the cart before the horse, as our process should inform what should be in the Expropriation Bill. I will write to the Chairperson first, as the concern was raised several times during or hearings."
The ad hoc committee has been receiving virtual oral submissions on the 18th Constitution Amendment Bill since Tuesday from those stakeholders who indicated previously in their written submissions that they would like to elaborate further in oral presentations.
Today the committee heard from the South African Research Chair in Property Law and was due to receive presentations from the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure, as well as the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development. However, presentations from the two government departments were halted prematurely as their oral presentations did not speak to the expectations of the Members of Parliament (MPs).
Dr Motshekga explained that the committee expected to hear about the departments' challenges and responses to allegations made during the public hearings of departmental mismanagement, corruption and incompetence.
The committee resolved to give the departments a broader and clearer brief of MPs' expectations for the presentations. The committee will grant the departments a further opportunity next week to make inputs.
The committee has for the past three days heard just under 20 presentations on the constitutional amendments. Dr Motshekga assured all presenters, as well as the those who made written submissions or made contributions during the countrywide public hearings held previously by the committee that all inputs will be considered in determining the content and wording of the Bill.