Cosatu backs constitutional change for land expropriation

By Babalo Ndenze for EWN

Parliament has continued public hearings into land expropriation without compensation.

There have been submissions from organisations opposed to the move and those in support of amending the Constitution to explicitly allow it.

Members of the public and affected parties have been offered another opportunity to make their voices heard following three previous rounds of public hearings over the past three years.

Some of the submissions argued that there was no justification for a constitutional amendment, with some saying that the courts should play a role in determining compensation.

Those representing the agricultural sector have come out in opposition to a constitutional amendment.

AgriSA’s Christo van der Rheede said that his organisation opposed expropriation without compensation, saying that the process should be less politicised.

“And that we specifically talk about fundamental human rights in terms of ownership of property and that should not be motivated and compromised by politics but by reality and practicality.”

The Helen Suzman Foundation has also opposed the move, saying that there was no need for an amendment.

But Cosatu said that it supported the change.

The labour federation’s parliamentary coordinator Matthew Parks: “We feel it is a rational intervention, we feel there is just utilisation in the bill for a new conversation for the expropriation of land to advance land reform and as Cosatu we support this bill as is.”

The hearings continue on Wednesday with submissions from AfriForum and the banking sector.


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