Back­ing for land dead­line ex­ten­sion

Pretoria News - - NATION - SIYABONGA MKHWANAZI [email protected]

THE ad hoc com­mit­tee on land ex­pro­pri­a­tion has backed the de­ci­sion to ex­tend the dead­line for writ­ten sub­mis­sions on the ex­pro­pri­a­tion of land with­out com­pen­sa­tion.

The chair­per­son of the com­mit­tee, Mathole Mot­shekga, had ini­tially said it would not agree to the ex­ten­sion of the dead­line.

But yes­ter­day all par­ties were unan­i­mous in their call to ex­tend it from to­day un­til the end of Fe­bru­ary.

The ANC, DA, EFF, IFP and ACDP said it was in the public’s in­ter­est to do so.

Mot­shekga said the com­mit­tee had to agree on the ex­ten­sion, and that the de­ci­sion did not lie with him alone.

“I stick to the line that says the au­thor­ity lies with you. I do not want to ar­ro­gate that power to my­self. I do not have that power,” Mot­shekga told the com­mit­tee.

An­nelie Lotriet of the DA said it was im­por­tant to ex­tend the dead­line.

This was be­cause when the bill to com­ment on amend­ments to the Con­sti­tu­tion to al­low for the ex­pro­pri­a­tion of land with­out com­pen­sa­tion was gazetted and re­leased for public com­ment last year, it was dur­ing the fes­tive pe­riod.

At the time not many peo­ple were around to com­ment on this crit­i­cal piece of leg­is­la­tion that dealt with prop­erty rights, she said. She sug­gested that the pe­riod for public com­ment be ex­tended by a month.

Mbuyiseni Nd­lozi of the EFF said they also agree that the pe­riod for public com­ment be moved to the end of Fe­bru­ary.

“We, too, wrote to you (Mot­shekga) and the Speaker re­quest­ing an ex­ten­sion to Fe­bru­ary 28. We are of the view that the whole of Fe­bru­ary, let’s al­low writ­ten sub­mis­sions to be made,” said Nd­lozi. He said that even if the dead­line was ex­tended to Fe­bru­ary 29, the EFF would sup­port it.

He said many peo­ple had been away over the fes­tive sea­son and needed time to com­ment on the bill.

The IFP and ACDP also sup­ported the ex­ten­sion of the dead­line.

Mot­shekga said the au­thor­ity to grant an ex­ten­sion lay with the com­mit­tee. He said it was ev­i­dent that all po­lit­i­cal par­ties agreed, and the dead­line would no longer be to­day.

The com­mit­tee would sub­se­quently con­duct public hear­ings in all nine prov­inces.

It said this was also a key Con­sti­tu­tional obli­ga­tion as the public hear­ings fed into the com­mit­tee’s re­ports.

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