Members of the National Assembly on Tuesday are set to vote on the Constitution 18th Amendment Bill that seeks to amend section 25 of the Constitution so as to allow for the expropriation of land without compensation.
This follows the adoption of the bill in September by Parliament’s ad hoc committee that was tasked back in 2018 with conducting public hearings on amending the property clause of the Constitution to address South Africa’s unequal and skewed ownership of land.
During its plenary sitting on Tuesday afternoon, the National Assembly will consider the ad hoc committee’s report to initiate and introduce legislation amending section 25 of the Constitution. This will be followed by a debate on the bill before voting takes place.
Two-thirds majority vote
In order for the bill to be passed by the House, it will require a two-thirds majority vote – that means at least 267 of the 400 members of the National Assembly need to vote in favour of it.
The ANC and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) agree on land expropriation without compensation, but do not see eye to eye on how the amendment of Section 25 of the Constitution should be implemented.
The EFF is pushing for state custodianship of land while the ANC favours compensation in some instances.
The ANC doesn’t have enough seats to pass a constitutional amendment on its own and will therefore need the EFF to support the bill.
DA opposed to amendment
The DA, on the other hand, is opposed to state custodianship and a constitutional amendment of section 25 of the Constitution.
The party believes that any amendments to the property clause would infringe South Africans the right to property, including land, as enshrined in the Constitution in the Bill of Rights. The DA has threatened to challenge the bill in court if it’s adopted by the National Assembly.
The National Assembly plenary sitting is expected to begin at 2pm.
Even if the bill is passed by the House, it will require at least six provinces in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) to vote in favour of it before it could be sent to President Cyril Ramaphosa to sign it into law.
Compiled by Thapelo Lekabe