Following successful hearings in Limpopo, the North West and Mpumalanga, the public hearings on the Expropriation Bill have now kicked-off in Gauteng.
The Portfolio Committee on Public Works and Infrastructure resumed a four-day public consultation programme in Gauteng on Thursday to gather public input on the Expropriation Bill.
The first leg of the hearings in Gauteng will be hosted by Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality at Bronkhorstspruit Sports Centre on Friday, followed by Orange Farm Fine Town Multipurpose Centre in Johannesburg on Friday.
On Saturday, the hearings will be held in Mogale City Municipality's Chief Mogale Community Hall in Kagiso. On Sunday, the committee will conclude its programme in the province with public hearings in Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality's Germiston City Hall.
The Expropriation Bill seeks to provide for the expropriation of property for public purposes or in the public interest and provide for certain instances where expropriation without compensation may be appropriate.
Committee chairperson, Nolitha Ntobongwana, has expressed her satisfaction with the quality of inputs the committee received from the provinces it has reached.
"All the views expressed by citizens will be considered after the committee has reached all the provinces," Ntobongwana said on Thursday.
The hearings are conducted under strict COVID-19 protocols.
Didiza's commitment to District Six land claims commended
Meanwhile, the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development has commended Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister, Thoko Didiza, for her commitment to the process of District Six land claims, and urged her to urgently intervene and accelerate the claims.
Committee chairperson, Inkosi Zwelivelile Mandela, said the committee supports Didiza's efforts to ensure that all spheres of government and the relevant institutions, including the Commission on Restitution of Land Rights (CRLR), accelerate the settlement of land claims, especially the resolution of old order claims.
"It is a travesty of justice that District Six still has a large number of unsettled claims and those engaged in political games at the expense of our people must be dealt with. We view any further delay in resolving outstanding claims in District Six and all restitution claims as a dereliction of duty and a failure in our responsibility of redress towards all claimants and beneficiaries," Mandela said.
The committee appealed to all stakeholders involved in the process of District Six land claims to work together to expedite the process.
The committee also welcomed Didiza's commitment to augment the capacity of the CRLR in order to give effect to this imperative, as well as the commitment from the CRLR to focus on the investigation and settlement of land claims, while the department addresses the broader aspects of sustainable land reform and agrarian transformation.
"The portfolio committee will ensure that it fulfils its obligation of oversight, and assures the beneficiaries that the goals of restitution and land reform will be achieved," Mandela said.