Land Reform

The FW de Klerk Foundation notes a number of concerning developments regarding the ongoing deliberations on amending section 25 of the Constitution to allow for expropriation of property without compensation (EWC).

Although the Ad Hoc Committee on Amending Section 25 of the Constitution (the Committee tasked to amend the constitution to allow for EWC) has decided to request Parliament to grant it a further 30 day extension to complete its work – which in principle ought to be welcomed – a number of critical issues under discussion should raise serious alarm bells for all South Africans. These include:

It is reported that the parliamentary legal services continues to be intricately involved in the process and it “recommended to extend scope of the committee on some clauses as well as holding further public hearings.”

It is further reported that it seems “fundamentally that the ANC and EFF appear to be in some agreement that the courts should have a diminished role to play in expropriation matters” and that “although the EFF and DA preferred a 60-day extension, the ANC insisted on a 30-day extension.”

These developments raise a number of critical questions:

Considering the serious negative implications of EWC for the country in general, but also these specific and more damaging parameters being driven by the EFF and ANC (i.e., land custodianship, zero compensation and limiting the adjudicative role of the courts to determine disputes) the Foundation implores Parliament to grant not only a 60 day extension to the committee but also another round of public participation – as suggested by the parliamentary legal services – in the process to address these new amendments.

Issued by the FW de Klerk Foundation

1 June 2021