The ad hoc committee amending Section 25 of the Constitution to allow expropriation without compensation hit another speed bump on Friday.
The committee was set to deliberate on a report compiled by the committee’s administration on the public submissions it had received, but two concerns with it were raised.
ANC MPs were concerned that the report contained what appeared to be legal opinions not requested by the committee.
The DA wanted to go through the written public submissions and not rely on the report, as it is their duty as MPs to ascertain the public’s opinion.
Committee chairperson Mathole Motshekga agreed that the committee adjourn and reconvene next week Friday, with an amended report and having allowed the committee members to work through the written public submissions.
Committee content advisor Dr Thulisile Ganyaza-Twalo said the report contained extracts from submissions, some written by lawyers, giving the appearance of legal opinions.
The administration will clarify its report.
“Next week, even if we need to debate for twelve hours, we will need to adopt the report,” Motshekga said.
DA MP Noko Masipa said: “This process should not be rushed. “He was also concerned about how realistic it would be to work through the thousands of written public submissions.
Motshekga said MPs should work 24 hour days.
“We are not rushing anything,” he said. “Everything is proceeding according to plan.”
In a statement released after the meeting, Motshkega said: “Members can continue reading whilst the work of the committee is going on.
“I appeal to all to put in extra hours to read the submissions. We cannot give members six months to read it. That would just not be practical.”
Motshekga said the committee on several occasions acceded to requests for extensions to deadlines to ensure that the committee does its work thoroughly.
“It would therefore be unfair to say that the committee is rushing the Bill on the amendment.
“We want to strive for consensus or at least sufficient consensus. All parties that put South Africans first, will give their full attention to the land question.”
According to the programme it recently adopted, the committee intends to finish its work by 19 March.