South Africa: Constitutional review committee extends closing date for submissions on land by two weeks

According to the committee programme, 7 August to 17 August have been set aside for oral submissions to be held at Parliament 

CAPE TOWN, South Africa, May 11, 2018,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- The Joint Constitutional Review Committee today met to discuss its programme for the public participation process on the review of Section 25 of the Constitution and resolved to extend the closing date for written submissions to 15 June 2018.

The committee further resolved to conduct its public hearings from 26 June 2018 to 6 August 2018 in all provinces around the country. Provinces with a larger rural area will have four days set aside for the hearings whilst other provinces will have three days of public hearings. Co-Chairperson of the committee, Mr Lewis Nzimande, said at least one of these days will be over a weekend to allow the working public also an opportunity to participate in the process.

Co-Chairperson of the committee, Mr Vincent Smith, said the later date for public hearings was to allow members of the National Council of Provinces to complete their work regarding the budget votes. According to him, the committee has received more than 100 000 written submissions to date. The bulk of this, around 64 000, came as a result of a single WhatsApp group that was created by a group to clog the system. A further 1 100, so far, came from AfriForum.

Prior to going to the provinces to listen to the public, the committee plans on having a colloquium with, among others, academics, researchers, stakeholders, faith-based organisations, traditional leaders, the South African Local Government Association and government departments so that Members of Parliament can get a better understanding of what they will be dealing with.

According to the committee programme, 7 August to 17 August have been set aside for oral submissions to be held at Parliament. Deliberation on the inputs is set to occur between 4 and 7 September 2018 with the adoption of the report expected on 11 September 2018, where it will make a recommendation to the National Assembly.

The committee was mandated to review Section 25 of the Constitution and other sections where necessary, to make it possible for the state to expropriate land in the public interest without compensation.

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Parliament.

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