The ANC’s proposals for a revised draft Constitution 18th Amendment Bill were adopted by a majority vote of the National Assembly ad hoc committee.
Section 25 of the proposed draft Bill has amended the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa 1996 (“the Constitution”) so as to provide that:
- Where land and any improvements thereon are expropriated for the purposes of land reform – the amount of compensation may be nil;
- National legislation must provide circumstances where the amount of compensation is nil;
- Land be the common heritage of all citizens which the state must safeguard for future generations; and
- Conditions should be fostered to enable state custodianship of certain land in order for citizens to gain access to land on an equitable basis and to provide for
matters connected therewith.
For the furtherance of land reform, national legislation must, subject to subsections 2 and 3 of section 25 of the Constitution, set out circumstances where the amount of compensation is nil where land is expropriated.
It needs to be borne in mind that in accordance with subsection 4(a) and (b) of section 25 of the Constitution, property is not only limited to land and that public interest includes the nation’s commitment to land reform.
While fine-tuning for tabling in Parliament by 30 August 2021, committee chair Mathole Motshekga noted that the abovementioned proposals to the amendment of Section 25 of the Constitution are not to the satisfaction of the DA, EFF or FF Plus.
In short, the opinion of Parliament is that section 25 of the Constitution must be amended to make explicit that which is implicit therein so that an amount of nil compensation is expressly stated as a legitimate option for land reform.