Public hearings at Parliament become embarrassment for ANC
7 September 2018
The parliamentary Constitutional Review Committee's public hearings on the possible amendment of Section 25 of the Constitution to make provision for expropriation without compensation is starting to become an embarrassment for the ANC government.
It is becoming evident that the submissions are not panning out as the ANC had anticipated. The greater majority of the submissions by expert parties are not only strongly opposed to the notion of expropriation but are also sharply criticising the ANC's policy and questioning the party's competence seeing as thus far, the land reform programme has failed.
At present, the Review Committee is busy with its second round of hearings and there is strong opposition to the amendment of Section 25 of the Constitution. The hearings held over the last four days afforded institutions that requested in their written submissions a chance to orally present their submissions as well the opportunity to do so.
The opposition to the amendment of Section 25 of the Constitution was very clear as 33 (or 82%) of the 40 oral submissions were opposed to the change. Only 7 (or 12%) of the submissions where in favour of the amendment.
The ANC will not be able to ignore these objections together with the opposition that was conveyed in the written submissions. More than 700 000 written and electronic submissions where submitted and approximately 60% of these where opposed to the proposed amendment.
The process of public participation is of the utmost importance as it lends legitimacy to the creation of legislation as well as to any proposed amendments to legislation. In this case even more so seeing as it the Constitution.
All the people of South Africa had an equal opportunity to make submissions and if the majority is opposed to the ANC's proposed amendment to the Constitution, there would be a strong legal case against any changes.
The ANC would do well to take this into consideration. The people of South Africa have spoken.
Statement issued by Dr. Corné Mulder, FF Plus chief whip, 7 September 2018