South Africa: Constitutional Review Committee Listen to The People of Jozini0
Today at the public hearing held in Jozini, KwaZulu-Natal, the Joint Constitutional Review Committee listened to over 80 people, some of whom were supporting the possible review of section 25 of the Constitution whilst others did not support the review. The public hearings are being held to ascertain whether a review of section 25 of the Constitution and other clauses are necessary, to make it possible for the state to expropriate land in the public interest without compensation, and propose the necessary constitutional amendments where necessary.
Some people representing their wards in Jozini supported the expropriation of land without compensation and indicated that the land should be given back to the Amakhosi. One speaker said that 87% of land in Jozini belonged to government and is yet to be transferred back to the people. This has not happened and government is talking about expropriating land when it has in fact not returned that land. They accused the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform of taking its time to return the land.
One farmer indicated that she is leasing 2041 hectares of state owned land for farming, yet she is required to pay an annual fee of R75 000 to utilize this land.
Another farmer indicated that he bought his house and the farm. He did not steal it and had worked hard on his farm and therefore will not support expropriation without compensation.
There were still others who called for title deeds for the land that they are living on citing that people in the Western Cape and other parts of the country have received title deeds but here in KwaZulu-Natal they cannot own the land as it belongs to a trust.
The Co- Chairperson of the Committee, Mr Lewis Nzimande said, we are pleased with the quality of inputs which we have received today. Yesterday we were in a peri-urban area and therefore the inputs were slightly different from what we have heard today, with the focus being on land being given back to traditional authorities, whilst some called for title deeds to their homes so that they are able to engage with banks to get a loan for their businesses etc. We also heard some call for the land to be owned and managed by the state. All these oral submissions will be collated into one document.
The Constitutional Review Committee will tomorrow be in Pietermaritzburg.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Parliament.
Source: South Africa