The Adhoc Committee on the Amendment of Section 25 of the constitution has put on hold its Limpopo leg of hearings aimed at soliciting inputs from the public on the contests of the legislation to expropriate land without compensation citing the coronavirus as its reason. The hearings were supposed to have started on Monday but were halted on the same day.

The decision was announced by parliament on Monday after the committee was in the past week touring the Eastern Cape where reportedly they were welcomed by the communities in the area. The announcement followed the proclamation of a ban on meetings of more than 100 people at a time by the president as well as the restriction of travelling in order to curb the spread of Coronavirus virus.

The workshops were preceded by the extension of the deadline for the public participation from January 31 until the end of last month. Angie Motshekga said “the orderly and mature way in which the hearings are conducted bodes well for the principle of participatory democracy which is one of the anchors of South African democracy.”

So far, among the inputs presented was that amendments to the constitution needed to be drafted in a clear and ambiguous way that will need not be questioned and terms such as “nil compensation” should be replaced with “no compensation”. Furthermore that the Land Claims Court (LCC) should be the only court to have jurisdiction on disputes to do with the land question. It could not be ascertained when the hearings will resume.



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