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Members of National Assembly voted on amending Section 25 of the Constitution

Dec 08, 2021

By Hajira Khota

The Constitution 18th Amendment Bill, which attempts to change section 25 of the Constitution to allow for land expropriation without compensation, was voted on by members of the National Assembly.

This comes after the bill was approved by Parliament’s ad hoc committee in September, which was charged in 2018 with holding public hearings on modifying the Constitution’s property clause to address South Africa’s uneven and imbalanced land ownership.

Institute of Race Relations’ Gabriel Crouse spoke to Radio Islam International; the purpose of the Bill was to amend section 25 of the Constitution to provide that where land was expropriated for land reform, the amount of compensation payable may be nil. Crouse says that it does not look like the Bill will be passed.

However the National Assembly failed to enact an amendment to Section 25 of the Constitution that would allow expropriation without compensation. Neither the DA nor the EFF backed the change, the ANC fell short of the requisite two-thirds majority. In the end, the law received 204 votes in favour and 145 votes against, with no abstentions. A two-thirds majority requires a total of 267 votes.

ANC MP Mathole Motshekga, who chaired the ad hoc committee that produced the bill, said during the discussion that the House had an opportunity to “eradicate the original sin in the interest of all South Africans” by supporting the law.

The bill, he said, was intended to combat the “crime against African humanity” – land expropriation.

The rejection of the Constitution 18th Amendment Bill by the EFF, Democratic Alliance, and Freedom Front Plus, according to Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola, is proof that the three parties agree on everything, even their resistance to land reform.

EFF leader Julius Malema said the party would never support an amendment that did not place all land in state custodianship.

According to Malema, the concept of “nil compensation” was never included in the EFF’s motion on land expropriation without compensation.

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