SOUTH AFRICA (Times Live) – The parliamentary committee that will review section 25 of the constitution, which deals with property, has invited the public to participate in the debate.
The ruling African National Congress wants the hotly debated issue of expropriation of land without compensation to be included in the Expropriation Bill.
The bill has been passed back and forth between the Presidency and parliament for the past decade. For it to pave the way for the government to seize land without compensation, it has to be updated to bolster the principle.
Although the constitution already allows for land expropriation without compensation if it is “just and equitable”, an updated bill signed into law would be the first amendment made so far to the Bill of Rights.
The parliamentary committee that will review section 25 of the constitution, which deals with property, has invited the public to participate in the debate through a series of hearings and by engaging the committee.
Its chairperson, Vincent Smith, said in an interview with the Parliamentary Monitoring Group last week that the committee wanted all South Africans “to feel free to come and give their views and to be tolerant enough to allow those who have different views to air their views”.
Having taken into account what ordinary South Africans, policy-makers, civil society organisations and academics say about the issue, the committee will then make recommendations to parliament, in the form of constitutional amendments. It has been given a deadline of August 30 2018 to deliver its recommendations.
Now, civic technology organisation OpenUp has designed an online tool – developed in partnership with the Parliamentary Monitoring Group – that makes it easy for anyone to make their voice heard on this critical issue.
The tool presents a series of questions to users. These questions should take no longer than five minutes to answer. Once the questionnaire has been completed, it is automatically submitted to the committee via email.