Land: The people speak – Parliament making South Africans look like fools, Sedibeng hearing told

2018-07-27 18:00
Joint committee co-chair Vincent Smith. (File, Misheck Makora, Daily Sun)

Joint committee co-chair Vincent Smith. (File, Misheck Makora, Daily Sun)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

The narrative that leaders in South Africa are to blame for failure to resolve the land question was placed under the spotlight once again during Parliament's Joint Constitutional Review Committee's stop in Sedibeng in Gauteng.

The committee is currently holding public hearings throughout the country into whether section 25 of the Constitution should be amended to allow for land expropriation without compensation.

Residents of the Vaal and surrounding areas displayed patience and a high level of tolerance as members of different communities stood up to share their views on the issue and whether South Africa's Constitution in its current form allowed for expropriation.

READ: What white people need to understand about The Land

Joint committee co-chair Vincent Smith even praised those in the Sedibeng town hall for their "robust" contribution.

"This hearing today is the best that we've had since we started. I can tell you that."

"No farmer in their right mind believes that things are fair in the country at the moment," started off third-generation farmer Mike Shapiro.

Training for farmers

The farmer said he did not believe the Constitution needed to be amended and blamed government's lack of the necessary "political will" for the stalled land reform process.

Shapiro said he spent three years trying to set up meetings to get people involved in his farm. He told the public hearing he wanted to train people for at least five years and would eventually allow them to take it over.

"I find it quite insulting that Parliament is making the majority of this country look like idiots," he said.

Shapiro added that when someone bought a company, its management stuck around for at least five years to do a proper handover. 

"Why is this not done with farming? How do you give someone land and nothing else? I don't understand it," said Shapiro.

"I grew up on a farm. I know the guys can do the job, they need help," he said.

Racial disparities

Shapiro advocated for the continuation of the willing seller, willing buyer principle.

"It's political and nothing else. They say they want land. You're not going to give them land, you are suggesting that the state owns the farm," said Shapiro who continued to accuse Parliament of making fools of citizens.

Traditional healers also stated their case, declaring that they needed space to grow their produce for multi-purposes and needed offices to meet with their patients. Many others raised concerns over the indignity of their lived experience because of not having access to their ancestral land.

Young people also made their voices heard, with some saying they no longer wanted to be job seekers, while others said they wanted greater opportunities which they believed would be unlocked through access to land. One of them was graduate Tsabeng Ramalope who highlighted the challenges which perpetuated economic exclusion for black graduates versus their white counterparts.

"When we graduate we have to go build and fix our parents' homes, but when white people graduate they go to their father's company and start work," she said.

The joint committee will make its last Gauteng stop in Tshwane on Saturday before going to the Western Cape next week.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

Read more on:    vincent smith  |  gauteng  |  land expropriation  |  land hearings  |  land

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
 

5 scientific benefits of owning a cat

According to science, just the act of watching cats itself can bring about positive emotions – so it comes as no surprise then, that owning a cat has a number of benefits.

 

Paws

Why we love cats
8 great natural remedies for your pet
How to clean your dog’s eyes
This special pooch inspired his brother to learn to stand again
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.