Land: The people speak - Tshwane hearings move to larger venue

2018-07-27 15:31

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Parliament's Joint Constitutional Review Committee on the expropriation of land has decided to change the venue for its final stop in Gauteng.

This comes after residents in Tshwane complained that the venue in Pretoria West was far too small, with some threatening that the hearings would not take place if a new venue was not found.

"The main reason for the change of venue was to accommodate as many people as possible in one venue," read a statement from the joint committee.

The Tshwane public hearings, which are taking place on Saturday, have now been moved to the Heartfelt Arena in Thaba Tshwane.

"The people who will make their way to the original venue will be shuttled to the Heartfelt Arena," the statement reads.

On Wednesday, committee co-chairperson Vincent Smith admitted that there was an ongoing issue with the venues picked for the hearings, and for Thursday's sitting in the West Rand, and apologised to residents. 

READ: Land: The people speak - Tshwane residents unhappy as hearings hit Gauteng

"I apologise profoundly for the venue. I underestimated the interest South Africans had on this issue," Smith said.

He repeated a similar apology during the second stop in Vereeniging, Gauteng, on Friday.

The EFF in Tshwane said it was "deeply disappointed by the lack of proper consultation with stakeholders" on the decision to change the venue. 

"The people of Tshwane have expressed great interest in this meeting and as the EFF we are
concerned that thousands of our people who are eager to participate in this meeting will be
denied an opportunity to do so because of the last minute change of the venue,"  it said.

"This sudden change is bound to create confusion as there has not been sufficient time to make the public aware of this sudden change and it is bound to create confusion among our people. What is
going to happen people who are not aware of this change and who will thus go to the venue in
Pretoria West? Will transport be provided to ferry them to the new venue?" 

Two delegations from the committee have been conducting public hearings across the country to hear South Africans' views on whether or not Section 25 of the Constitution should be amended to allow expropriation without compensation.

Earlier this year, most political parties in the National Assembly supported a motion the EFF had brought forward for the expropriation of land without compensation. The committee was instructed to investigate if there was a need to amend the Constitution to make this possible.

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Read more on:    pretoria  |  johannesburg  |  land expropriation  |  land hearings  |  land

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