Extending the lifespan of the Section 25 Ad-hoc Committee is just delaying the obvious

By Dr Annelie Lotriet MP – Chairperson of the DA Parliamentary Caucus

The DA notes ANC chief whip Pemmy Majodina and National Assembly secretary Masibulele Xaso’s argument that the Section 25 Ad-hoc Committee on land expropriation’s lifespan should be extended a further 2 months until the end of October 2021 as it is unable to meet the 31 August-deadline to conclude its work.

Unfortunately for the National Assembly secretary, it’s not his decision to extend the lifespan of ad hoc committees. In terms of National Assembly Rule 253, only the Speaker of the National Assembly or a resolution by the National Assembly can extend an ad hoc committee’s lifespan. The extension of the Committee’s lifespan was never discussed by the Committee and an extension has not been requested from the Speaker. As such, the DA will write to the chairperson of the Section 25 Ad-hoc Committee, Dr Mathole Motshekga, to request an explanation of what is clearly a tactic by the ANC to buy time, because they know their Constitution 18th Amendment Bill will never receive the two-thirds majority vote it needs to amend the Constitution to allow for expropriation without compensation.

We have noted that one of the reasons for the extension is that the House of Traditional Leaders can only make its presentation in September. This is utterly nonsensical. Like all other roleplayers, they’ve had an opportunity to present their comments and concerns, and the Committee have already concluded with all the oral hearings and presentations.

It is time the ANC realises that this harmful Bill was ill-conceived and that prolonging the inevitable will only cost the country more money that it cannot afford to throw in the water.

The DA urges all South Africans to submit their objections to this destructive Bill in writing to Vhonani Ramaano at section25@parliament.gov.za before the end of day today. This might be the last opportunity to completely reject the ANC’s devious plan to nationalise land and strip away property rights.

The DA knows that the country’s various and serious concerns regarding land need to be addressed as a matter of urgency. That’s why we are holding a virtual land summit on Wednesday, 18 August 2021, where we will discuss and debate land reform, land expropriation without compensation, rural safety and farm attacks and murders.

Land ownership has always been a contentious issue in the country and land reform and expropriation should be addressed to rectify and heal past injustices – amending the Constitution and seeking to keep South Africans as permanent tenants of the State is however not the appropriate route. The ANC government should have rather enacted its many policies on land reform and rid the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALLRD) of all its deadweight and corrupt officials nationally and in the provinces. Land reform would have been addressed long ago if the ANC did not stymie the process at every turn.

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