While Parliament’s Joint Constitutional Review Committee (CRC) is preparing its final parliamentary report on the possible amendment of Section 25 of the Constitution to allow for expropriation of land without compensation (EWC), the South African Institute of Race Relations (IRR) is planning to take the committee to court.
The CRC was tasked to investigate and then make a recommendation on whether Section 25 of the Constitution needed to be amended.
In this regard, the CRC conducted public hearings countrywide and received numerous written submissions. During recent meetings of the CRC to present its recommendations and observations, political parties, namely the DA, ACDP, Cope and FF Plus, opposed the amendment and expressed their concerns about the committee’s arbitrary disregard of written submissions.
The parties also warned that several procedural errors were made during the process and were still being made by members of the committee.
FF Plus MP Corné Mulder said: “We believe that the current process is fundamentally flawed and we believe that the majority of the committee seems to be willing to take a report to Parliament that will embarrass Parliament as well as the president.”
According to a statement by the IRR, more than 720 000 written submissions were sent to the committee, with about 80% of these submissions opposed to EWC.
“The committee has failed to consider these comments and is likely to make its recommendations without ever having looked at 99,9% of them,” the institute said.
The IRR further stated that the CRC had a constitutional obligation to consider what South Africans thought about EWC. “We are determined to ensure that it fulfills this obligation.”
Pierre Vercueil, deputy president of Agri SA, expressed the organisation’s concern about the recent meetings of the CRC, as well as the “clear intention of the ANC, EFF and UDM members of that committee to bulldoze through a recommendation to amend the Section 25 property clause. Such an enormous decision cannot be made in haste,” he said.