The National Assembly on Tuesday voted to adopt the Joint Constitutional Review Committee’s (CRC) report which recommends that the Constitution is amended to allow expropriation without compensation.
Altogether 209 MPs voted in favour of the adoption of the report, while 91 opposed it. There were no abstentions.The debate followed the now familiar pattern with parties supporting an amendment – the ANC, EFF, UDM, NFP, AIC and APC – focusing on the need to redress the historic dispossession of black South Africans.
The parties opposing an amendment – the DA, IFP, FF Plus, Cope and the ACDP – said there was no need to amend the Constitution to effect substantial land reform and the ANC has failed to implement proper land reform policies.
The parties opposed to an amendment also focused on what it considers flaws in the CRC’s process, mostly in relation to how the committee handled the hundreds of thousands of written submissions it received.
The ANC and EFF, however, vouched for the procedural integrity of the committee’s work.
The report is up for consideration in the National Council of Provinces on Wednesday.
After the report was adopted, ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu told the National Assembly he will bring a motion on Thursday which “will take the process forward”.
This will most likely entail establishing a committee to draft the wording of an amendment to Section 25, or referring it to an existing committee, with the Standing Committee on Justice and Correctional Services the most likely candidate.
This is the wording of the recommendation the ANC drafted, which was proposed by the EFF in the CRC’s last meeting on November 15.
Earlier on Tuesday, the DA indicated that it will challenge the adoption of the report in court if it is adopted by both houses of Parliament.