CONSTITUTION SECTION 25 AMENDMENT PROCESS ('expropriation without compensation')

I write this to draw attention to the importance of the work of the National Assembly’s ad hoc committee tasked with preparing legislation to amend section 25 of the Constitution (property rights) to provide expressly for expropriation without compensation for land reform purposes in specific circumstances. On 21 May, the committee will have a Bill ready for tabling in the House, thus fulfilling its mandate. This was confirmed on Friday in a media statement, although the latest extension is not yet official.

The Parliamentary Monitoring Group (PMG) generously makes audio clips of all meetings of the committee freely available on its website. Sometimes, they are livestreamed on Parliament’s YouTube channel. Usually within a week of each meeting, PMG uploads a detailed report of proceedings. This is a valuable resource for anyone wanting insight into the process, as well as input from MPs representing each political party with a presence in Parliament.

I summarise each meeting for Legalbrief Today subscribers, who receive my reports within 24 hours (or the following Monday, when meetings are held on Fridays). Juta Law owns the copyright to my work, which is why I wait a week before uploading it here. I do so in the public interest and with Juta’s permission.

Once it becomes law, the Constitution 18th Amendment Bill (now still in draft form) will affect everyone in South Africa. It will do so because it has implications for foreign and domestic investors, economic growth and employment. Together with the revised Expropriation Bill now also before Parliament, it will be used to facilitate the acceleration of government interventions aimed at addressing landlessness in South Africa and the widespread poverty associated with it. How that is done will determine whether the policy uncertainty currently worrying some prospective investors is addressed.

You will find my reports on the entire process of developing the Constitution 18th Amendment Bill here, where you should scroll down to the bottom of the post to find a summary of proceedings at the meeting held before the committee’s most recent one, to which only Legalbrief Today subscribers will have immediate access.