The Ad Hoc Committee to Initiate and Introduce Legislation Amending Section 25 of the Constitution today adopted the report on the Constitution 18th Amendment Bill, which will see the expropriation of land without compensation for the purpose of land reform embedded in the Constitution.
Committee Chairperson Dr Mathole Motshekga said the report on the Bill in its entirety, as well as the memorandum on the objects of the Bill, were endorsed by the majority of members in the committee.
The purpose of the Bill is to amend section 25 of the Constitution so as to provide that where land is expropriated for land reform, the amount of compensation payable may be nil. Furthermore, to clarify that nil compensation is a legitimate option for land reform, so as to address the historic wrongs caused by the arbitrary dispossession of land, and in so doing ensure equitable access to land and further empower the majority of South Africans to be productive participants in ownership, food security and agricultural reform programmes.
Dr Motshekga said the Bill and the report is the product of extensive public engagements, spanning the work of two Parliaments and three committees. "We want to thank the people of South Africa who participated in the public hearings across the country. We called for further written submissions and they did not disappoint us.
"This report on the Bill is not just the views of public representatives, but it took into account all those submission and public input to ensure that we have a product that South Africans can be proud of, that will be to the benefit of all South Africans. We were not involved in a party political process, but rather a people's process."
Dr Motshekga continued: "This report is based on the will of the people. We will do our level best to change the land ownership patterns of our country."
Dr Motshekga commended all Members of the committee for their hard work and singled out the Democratic Alliance and the Freedom Front Plus "for remaining involved in the process till the end, even if they did not agree on matters".
Both the Bill and the report on the Bill will be sent to the National Assembly for consideration and adoption.