MP’s given more time over land expropriation bill as ANC revises its position
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Cape Town - THE ad hoc committee on expropriation without compensation decided on Friday to allow the ANC to circulate its revised position on the amendment of the constitution.
The committee also asked other parties to also submit their revised positions by not later than Tuesday.
Committee chairperson Mathole Motshekga said they would assess what the differences and meeting points were at their next meeting.
“Between today and the next meeting, parties would have exchanged their revised documents. Political parties must go back and finalise their positions and circulate them so that we move forward together at the next meeting,” he added.
During the meeting the ANC made a presentation on its revised position.
ANC MP Cyril Xaba said they believed negotiations were a process of give and take.
“In that way you accept that you may walk away with a different position than when you first entered the discussion,” Xaba said.
He also stated that they were dealing with a constitutional amendment that required the support of two thirds majority in the National Assembly and six provinces in the National Council of Provinces.
“No single party on its own can muster the two thirds and therefore we need parties to find each other for the good of the country.”
In its presentation, the ANC retains the courts involvement as final arbiter, and the state can be custodian of land under certain circumstances.
It also proposed that there should be national legislation that sets out the circumstances for nil compensation in furtherance of land reform.
However, EFF deputy leader Floyd Shuvambu said they fundamentally disagreed with the ANC's revised position.
“Anything that says subject to compensation, we are not to agree to that. Anything that says custodian for certain land is problematic,” Shivambu said.
He told the meeting that the EFF was now engaging the ANC top six officials over the constitutional amendment as those entrusted with bilateral meetings were not decision-makers.
“I can assure chair that post-Wednesday next week we will know whether we are coming or going in terms of the process. If we disagree it's Okay and then we will see how else do we then deal with the land question.”
He indicated that there were other options available and the people have been taking back land.
“Maybe it must be elevated to a much more radical and decisive mechanism if the politicians do not want to agree on a simple and straight forward approach,” Shivambu said.
Motshekga said any suggestion that there was another ANC position was out of order and said it was not the spirit of conducting business to want one’s demands to be met regardless.
“The fact that we need two thirds majority to pass legislation does not give anyone the right to blackmail others,” he said.
DA MP Annelie Lotriet took issue that Xaba said the purpose of the bilateral meeting was to get the two thirds majority.
“The focus and premise was what is in the interest of the country and people, not the ANC to get two thirds majority.
“I want to reiterate the DA position that we do not agree with the proposed amendments. We don't think the constitution has to be amended,” Lotriet said.
Freedom Front Plus’ Corne Murder said they were not in favour of the whole notion of expropriation without compensation.
He said nil compensation should be provided for in the constitution and not be referred to national legislation.
“It should be expressly indicated and stipulated in the constitution under which circumstances that would be an option, not in terms of the national legislation,” Mulder said.
ANC MPs raised concerns that the others parties were not shifting from their initial stances.
“I have not seen any other party attempting to move from its position,” Sibusiso Gumede said.