Opposition slams land bill ‘push’
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.