Land Reform Amendment to Allow Expropriation of Land Without Compensation Fails to Pass
Land Reform Amendment to Allow Expropriation of Land Without Compensation Fails to Pass. Photo: Pixabay

The ANC failed to secure the mandatory two-thirds majority required by the Constitution to pass the 18th Constitution Amendment Bill in the National Assembly today, Tuesday 7 December. Had it passed, it would have resulted in the amendment of Section 25 of the Constitution to allow for expropriation of land without compensation.

Dr Annelie Lotriet – Chairperson of the DA Parliamentary Caucus – welcomed the rejection of this “disastrous piece of legislation” as a victory for South Africa’s Constitutional order.

“Today’s outcome was a culmination of three wasted years in which Parliament was made to process a Bill where alarms had been raised about its grave impact on the economy, the rule of law and food security. The ANC knew about these dangers hence their steadfast refusal to allow for an Economic Impact Assessment to be conducted,” claimed Dr Lotriet in a statement on Tuesday afternoon.

“We have long argued against the need to amend Section 25 of the Constitution because, in its current form, it already has enough provisions to enable a just and equitable land reform process.”

She accused the EFF and warring ANC factions of exposing their “disdain for the Constitution” with their rush to pursue expropriation of land without compensation and nationalisation of land.

The EFF tweeted today: “The refusal by the ANC to join us in making fundamental amendments to the Constitution to repossess our land from settlers and to change exploitative forms of land tenure is the deepest form of betrayal of the aspirations of black people by the leeches now in power.”

Dr Lotriet argued that the Bill wouldn’t have helped landless South Africans and “for all the years that the committee has spent trying to take away the property rights of South Africans and nationalise all land, focus should rather have been on opening access to state land, improving tenure security and providing support to emerging farmers.”

She says: “President Cyril Ramaphosa’s repeated claim that Section 25 of the Constitution could be amended without affecting the economy and food security, was misleading. In Venezuela and Zimbabwe, tempering with property rights collapsed their economies, led to widespread hunger and resulted in wholesale capital flight.

“What South Africa needs is a pragmatic and rational approach that will operate within the confines of current constitutional provisions on land reform.”

AfriForum also welcomed the failure of the Land Expropriation Bill’s to pass before the National Assembly.

Ernst van Zyl, Campaign Officer for strategy and content at AfriForum says, “The failure of a deeply immoral Bill that would have allowed state sanctioned theft and human rights violations is a major victory for South Africans. Expropriation without compensation is an inhumane policy motivated by a combination of corrupt greed and resentment.”