The Ad Hoc Committee to amend Section 25 of the Constitution will need another extension from the National Assembly to complete its work, after it reversed its previous decision not to allow oral presentations by people who have indicated in their written submissions a wish to do so.
The committee came to this decision on Friday.
Committee chairperson Mathole Motshekga in a statement said that for the committee to make this possible, it will have to approach Parliament for an extension to the deadline.
The committee will now seek a new deadline of 31 May 2021 to finalise its work.
The committee will further request that it be allowed to continue with its work during the upcoming parliamentary recess period.
The committee was expected to adopt the bill on the constitutional amendments by 19 March.
“It is important to note that we will not be calling for new submissions or public hearings.
“The committee will be receiving oral presentations only from those submitters who had indicated within the deadline in their written submissions that they wish to do so. I wish to emphasise that we are not reopening the entire process of public participation,” said Motshekga.
The committee will now adjust its programme to make provision for the oral presentations, as well as make a list of those organisations, or individuals, who expressed the desire to elaborate further on their written submissions.
At the committee’s meeting last week, the ANC and EFF – who support amending Section 25 to allow expropriation without compensation – supported not allowing oral presentations, while the DA and FF Plus – who are strongly opposed to an amendment – did not.
The committee had to be re-established last year, after it couldn’t meet its deadline due to the pandemic, and later asked for an extension previously as well.