Backing for land deadline extension
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.