South Africa: Amending Constitution's Section 25 Draws to a Close - but EFF Makes Last Stand for Nationalisation

analysis

The clock is ticking toward the end-May deadline for a constitutional amendment to expressly allow land expropriation without compensation. But the EFF is pushing for an expansionary take that other opposition parties say is beyond the mandate of legislators. The ANC is watching.

If EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi and EFF Chief Whip Floyd Shivambu had their way, the current Constitution 18th Amendment Bill that has been subjected to public hearings and other input, would be significantly amended.

Their proposals included the effective nationalisation of land, mineral and natural resources, and constitutionally obliging all spheres of state -- the executive, Parliament and the judiciary -- to enact laws "to achieve redress and equitably redistribute all resources". And the 1913 Natives Land Act cut-off date for land claims and restitution would be removed.

At last Friday's meeting of the ad hoc committee on amending Section 25 of the Constitution, the EFF MPs pushed their proposals hard, while artfully dodging ANC MP Cyril Xaba's question whether the EFF really meant all property is up for compensationless expropriation, not just land -- and whether one should not extract land from the definition of property when it came to expropriation without compensation.

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