Land Reform: Ad hoc committee on Section 25 finalises public participation process

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Land reform continues to be a contentious issue in South Africa. (iStock)
Land reform continues to be a contentious issue in South Africa. (iStock)
  • The ad hoc committee amending Section 25 of the Constitution has finalised its public participation process.
  • It will now proceed to deliberate on the wording of the Bill.
  • Committee members have until early May to consult with their parties when the committee will proceed.

The ad hoc committee amending Section 25 of the Constitution will now turn its attention to deliberate on the amendment after it finalised the public participation process on Friday, by adopting its report on public participation.

At the start of the brief meeting, committee chairperson Mathole Motshekga emphasised the public participation process' Constitutional importance.

It started in early 2020 with public hearings across the country.

This process was interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, but was completed later in the year.

The committee also received written submissions and last month heard oral presentations on some of these submissions. Ministers of portfolios impacted by the amendment also addressed the committee.

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This means the committee can now move ahead and deal with the nuts and bolts of the amendment, or the 18th Constitutional Amendment Bill, as it is officially known.

"With the report being adopted, the real work of what should be contained in the Bill and the way it is formulated starts now," said Motshekga in a statement released after the meeting.

"From the outset, all members of the committee departed from the premise that our parliamentary system is a representative and participatory system and that public representatives do not have the monopoly of wisdom and must therefore involve the public in all legislative processes. This means public participation is a constitutional imperative. In its work, the committee was guided by the Constitutional Court decisions and the rules of Parliament."

The committee resolved to give its time to consult with their parties before the deliberations on the text of the Bill starts. This will begin in early May.

"This will give us sufficient time to conclude the work of this committee by 21 May 2021," said  Motshekga.

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