Op­po­si­tion slams land bill ‘push’

The Star Early Edition - - NATION - SIYABONGA MKHWANAZI

THE fight over land ex­pro­pri­a­tion with­out com­pen­sa­tion es­ca­lated in Par­lia­ment yes­ter­day with op­po­si­tion par­ties ac­cus­ing the ANC of abus­ing pro­cesses to push through a bill.

Op­po­si­tion par­ties said the ANC was forc­ing down their throats a bill they had not seen on the ex­pro­pri­a­tion of land with­out com­pen­sa­tion, yet wanted MPs to vote on it.

But the EFF said it was not a bill that Par­lia­ment was cur­rently deal­ing with at this stage, but a mo­tion, tabled by the ANC, to set up an ad hoc com­mit­tee to draft a bill.

The op­po­si­tion warned the ANC of the eco­nomic detri­ment of ex­pro­pri­a­tion of land with­out com­pen­sa­tion.

But ANC chief whip Jack­son Mthembu de­fended the de­ci­sion.

DA chief whip John Steen­huisen said: “This mo­tion seeks to bind us with­out hav­ing a sin­gle sight of this bill, the con­tent of this bill and the im­pact of the bill.

“Re­gard­less of the num­ber of sub­mis­sions and the mer­its of the sub­mis­sions, this bill is a fait ac­com­pli.”

He said this made a mock­ery of the pub­lic par­tic­i­pa­tion process.

Mthembu said after the Na­tional As­sem­bly and Na­tional Coun­cil of Prov­inces had adopted the re­port on the ex­pro­pri­a­tion of land with­out com­pen­sa­tion, the next phase was to set up an ad hoc com­mit­tee to draft a bill. This was where the process was at the mo­ment.

“The only thing left was the mech­a­nism. We are say­ing here is a mech­a­nism and that mech­a­nism is an ad hoc com­mit­tee es­tab­lished by the rules of the House.

“We are es­tab­lish­ing an ad hoc com­mit­tee that will in­tro­duce a bill that will amend Sec­tion 25 of the Con­sti­tu­tion,” said Mthembu.

ANC cau­cus spokesper­son Non­ceba Mh­lauli said this was step in the right di­rec­tion.

“It brings us closer to the re­al­i­sa­tion of the res­o­lu­tion of the 54th na­tional con­fer­ence of the ANC, which re­solved as a mat­ter of pol­icy the ex­pro­pri­a­tion of land with­out com­pen­sa­tion as one of the land re­form mech­a­nisms adopted to ad­dress the land ques­tion,” said Mh­lauli.

Mkhuleko Hlengwa of the IFP said ir would not sup­port the mo­tion as the Con­sti­tu­tion was broad enough to ad­dress land re­form in the coun­try.

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