The Portfolio Committee on Rural Development and Land Reform met to deliberate on the Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Bill. The Committee assessed the issues that had emanated from the 19 public hearings that the Committee had held in total throughout South Africa. Mention was made of the tension between not only traditional leaders and the communal property associations (CPAs) but also other organizations and even independent people; women inheritance rights; traditional leaders that were violating rules; the anger and frustration that people were feeling at the length of time the current process of restitution had taken since the 1998 cut-off; the fear that this would be further delayed and overtaken by the new lodgement of claims; corrupt officials; the financing of the R180 billion needed over the next 10 years.
The Committee deliberated on the Bill clause by clause and approved each one. Members had a lengthy debate on clause 5 which amended the powers of the President allowing delegation to the Minister of Justice for appointments of acting judges and the time period of those appointments. The Democratic Alliance first caucused before approving this clause.
The Committee also agreed to a new amendment proposed by the department to accommodate claimants’ fears: that claims lodged before 31 December 1998 had to be prioritized. This would be added as the first category of prioritisation in Section 6(2)(d) of the Act that already recognised three categories of prioritisation.
The Committee agreed to adopt the Bill the next day after all the proposed amendments had been captured and a correct formulation of the amendment to Section 6(2)(d) had been accepted.
Chairperson’s Opening Remarks
The Chairperson noted that the previous day the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR) had given its response to the concerns, questions and proposals raised at the public hearings. Before they dealt with the Bill clause by clause they have to make an assessment of their own of the public hearings and the views the people were raising and the department’s response, which probably would be the best way of looking into the politics of the Bill. Members would recall that they had had an extensive public hearing process and many issues were raised during those public hearings. They should look at what the people were saying and feeling and this would inform them as they dealt with the Bill clause by clause. In dealing with the Bill, they should not be detached from their engagement with the views of the people.
Mr M Swathe (DA) said that what the chairperson had just proposed was in line with what they were going to do in today’s meeting. The department yesterday had given responses to what people and organizations had submitted. There were several issues that were not clarified yesterday and perhaps in this meeting they could be given an opportunity to clarify them. For instance, the issue of traditional leaders and communities. When he was listening to the responses, it was only traditional leaders versus the communal property associations (CPAs). There was no mention of independent people that gave their side of the story such as the woman from KwaZulu-Natal who came to present for an organization but not a CPA. She had spoken about a widow whose land was taken forcefully from her. The issue of women and youth was not really addressed yesterday. Others might remember items that he had omitted. They needed to focus on these matters which could give them a clear direction of exactly they needed to do.
The Chairperson reminded them there was young man from Middleburg who spoke on behalf of a group of young people and had indicated that they were the most important constituency because they had been there for a longer period. The issues that were talked about were going to affect them in the long run. There was also another lady who spoke on behalf of widows in KZN who noted their role in farming but widows were not treated correctly when it came to land, and she was referring to traditional leaders in particular. The response the Committee gave was that they had to identify traditional leaders that were violating rules and not actually creating an impression that all traditional leaders were the same. It was correct that it was a matter that needed flagging. It was also saying to the Department that the amendment of the Communal Property Associations Act should be fast tracked.
Mr K Mileham (DA) said that there was also some commentary about inheritance and the dispossession of women where the inheritance of the land did not go to the daughter but rather to the brother or uncle. There was the whole issue of women’s inheritance rights that was tied up in customary law and traditional leadership.
Mr Mileham said looking holistically at the hearings, there were number of issues that caught his attention. Firstly, the anger and frustration that people were feeling at the length of time the process of restitution had taken, from 1994 – 1998. It was something they needed to look at going forward and they could not delay restitution indefinitely, it had to happen sooner rather than later.
The other frustration that came out clear in the public hearings was the element of corruption which the Deputy Land Commissioner spoke to somewhat yesterday. He indicated that steps needed to be taken against those officials. They had put provisions into that Bill to deal with corrupt and fraudulent claims but they needed to take stronger action within the department against corrupt and fraudulent officials.
Mr Mileham said that they have touched on the management of the land restitution projects where they spoke about amendments to the CPA Act. Basically, there were 3 – 4 structures that were used for the management of the land. They needed to put a recommendation to the department that guidelines and procedures be drafted specifying how land restitution should be managed, what the expectations of the CPA were, the trustees and the traditional leaders because it was not going to be different no matter what form it took, whether it was trustee or CPA, they were going to do the same things. So, they needed to have guidelines covering all of those. Where one got one’s land back, what would be expected in return, for example, expectations of annual general meetings, annual financial statements, etc. Those provisions were contained in the CPA Act but they needed to be made simpler and easier to understand.
Mr Mileham said that the delay in getting the title deeds to the beneficiaries was briefly touched on yesterday. Secondly, mineral rights was not touched on at all yesterday. There was a huge misperception at all the public hearings that people had the right to the minerals that were in the soil. The minerals were vested in the state. They needed to do better communication about the mineral rights that were associated with land reform and land restitution. They needed to communicate to beneficiaries what exactly they get and what they did not get.
Mr Mileham said he was worried about financing the whole process of restitution because he did not believe that they have the R180 billion needed over the next 10 years. In fact, the Committee’s Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report (BRRR) pointed out that they did not have that money.
Mr S Ntapane (UDM) said he attended 70% to 80% of the public hearings. What he had gathered from the public hearings was that 80% of the participants were not dealing with the Bill, but were raising their concerns about the land. So, the input given by the department answered what had been raised by the people in the public hearings. The Committee should put a date aside to deal with the concerns raised by people in those public hearings. If not, they would end up delaying the finalisation of the Bill by talking about things that were outside the Bill.
Mr Ntapane said that the department had responded to the issues and as a Committee they were ready to go straight to deliberate on the Bill clause by clause.
Mr Thami Mdontswa, Deputy Chief Land Claims Commissioner, said that when they had made the response presentation yesterday, there were three slides in particular they would want to take the Committee through. The three slides summarized their draft Policy on Communal Land and which they were still consulting on. The slides attempt to respond to some of the challenges that had been raised such as the protection of women, inheritance, institutional land use rights that they always spoke of. So, if it pleased the Committee they could go through the three slides to explain what the thinking was in the department with regards to communal tenure and they could also deal with the issue of traditional leaders which was taken into account in developing that model.
The Chairperson agreed with Mr Ntapane that the department did respond to the issues raised by the people. He thought that they could flag those issues because many people said they supported the re-opening of the lodgment of claims, while others said they supported it but should deal with the outstanding claims first. The role of the Committee was to make its own assessment and yesterday they were briefed by the department in terms of its own assessment and responses to the issues raised.
The Chairperson said that he thought as a Committee they should unpack some of the issues. For example, assess whether there was any element of frustration from people in terms of land, or whether they believe the Bill was important in terms of addressing the hunger for land. After they have unpacked those issues they would go to the Bill and link the amendments to their own observations at the public hearings they have conducted. The hearings were not separate to what they were supposed to be dealing with there.
The Chairperson asked if the budget concern raised by Mr Mileham was commented on or responded to.
Mr Mdontshwa said that they have responded to that and so did the Minister by saying that it was a policy of Government and therefore Government would provide the funding.
Mr Mileham said that that statement was a cop-out and he wanted a commitment from National Treasury that they would fund the Restitution Bill in the medium to long term. The point was that during the BBBR discussion, they were told categorically that there was no more funding for the department. Currently, the estimates of the Bill were R180bn over the next 10 years and they could not say that money was going to appear out of the fiscus because it was not. Therefore, the Minister’s statement yesterday was not good enough.
Ms Nomfundo Gobodo, Chief Land Claims Commissioner, said that what they did was they went to Treasury and communicated the mandate that they were given and indicated what they were going to do. National Treasury gave them the green light to proceed. Therefore, from their perspective they have done what they were supposed to do and it was for them to wait and be given directions by Treasury and Parliament.
The Chairperson said that the Head of State and Cabinet were the ones who kicked-started the process and gave the first instruction that an Ad Hoc Committee should be established to consult with the people and look at the obstacles and remove them. The Ad Hoc Committee was indeed established and did exactly what it was mandated to do. The mandate to deal with the amendments resided with the Portfolio Committee on Rural Development and Land Reform. The Department through the Commission did all what was necessary and brought the amendments before the Committee after the Ad Hoc Committee did its investigation.
The Ad Hoc Committee came with the mandate from the people which said they needed those amendments. The Portfolio Committee had embarked on 19 public hearings on this matter. Therefore, the President and Cabinet could not come and say at the end of the day that they knew that it was not doable. The concerns that Mr Mileham was raising should had been raised before they had embarked on public hearings but when they were at the doorstep of deliberating the Bill such concerns were raised. They could not entertain the question of budget because the Minister had responded yesterday that it was a programme of Government and the Bill had been endorsed by Cabinet before it came to the Speaker’s Office en route to the Portfolio Committee. Treasury was part of Cabinet and if Treasury had reservations it should had raised those reservations even before the amendments were at Cabinet level. The Bill had gone through the processes of Cabinet before coming to Parliament. The Committee has done what was expected of them in terms of consulting with the public and the public came in large numbers. Their presence in those public hearings was a confirmation that indeed they wanted to express their opinion on the Bill which they did. What they needed to do was to answer the question of whether the people on the ground were in support of the amendments. That was the purpose of where they were now as they move to the deliberation of the Bill clause by clause.
Mr Mileham noted that the Bill was tagged as section 75 but yesterday they had spoken of it as section 76 Bill. There was also a proposed amendment about prioritization of claims that were lodged before 31 December 1998 from the department which was not included there. He asked if they were ready to go through the Bill clause by clause when the amendment was not incorporated into the Bill.
Ms Sueanne Isaac, Parliamentary Legal Adviser, said that the Bill before the Committee was the introduced Bill which proposed it as a section 75 Bill but when it came to Parliament, it was tagged by the Joint Tagging Mechanism which had ruled it was a section 76 Bill. So, this would not be reflected there until all the processes of the Committee had been done that they would get a new version of the Bill. Secondly, the proposed amendment by the department had not been accepted by the Committee yet and only once it had been accepted, would it be reflected in the A list version of the Bill.
The Chairperson agreed that that the Bill was introduced as a section 75 Bill and when the Joint Tagging Mechanism had looked at the Bill, it was tagged as a section 76 Bill.
Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Bill: deliberations
The Chairperson read out the Long Title that stated that it was to amend the Restitution of Land Rights Act, 1994, so as to amend the cut-off date for lodging a claim for restitution; to further regulate the appointment, tenure of office, remuneration and the terms and conditions of service of judges of the Land Claims Court; to
make further provision for the advertisement of claims; to create certain offences; to extend the Minister’s powers of delegation; and to provide for matters connected therewith.
Clause 1 Amendment of section 2 of Act 22 of 1994
The Chairperson read out the amendment of the date of 1998 which was changed to 2018.
The Chairperson said it should be remembered that one of the things raised in the public hearings was that if the restitution process was for five years and they left the date as 2018, it meant it was no longer five years, and it had been proposed that the restitution process should take effect from the day of promulgation of the Act which would currently move the five year period to end in 2019.
Ms Isaac said that because the initial intention was to pass that Bill at the end of last year and the time period had been cut-off, therefore, the amendment would be proper in that section. About the actual wording of it: whether on the date the President signed the Bill into law or putting an actual date, the suggestion to the Committee was since the date was important in terms of informing people of the cut-off date, the specific date should be specified. The date the President signed the Bill into law or the date it was promulgated might not be so clear. So, in terms of circulating the information to the media and for the Commission’s work, it would be easier to set a proper date and the public could prepare themselves before the cut-off date.
Ms Isaac said the Commission had suggested a date if the Committee was amenable to that. Taking into consideration that if the Bill was passed by the end of the current term of Parliament and the President signed it within a short period of time, the Commission suggested the 30 June 2019 as the proposed date.
The Chairperson read out 30 June 2019 as the proposed amendment for the cut-off date.
The Committee agreed with 30 June 2019.
Clause 2 Amendment of section 11 of Act 22 of 1994
The Chairperson read out the deletion of the phrase: “shall take steps to make it known in the district” replaced with: “in the media circulating nationally and in the provinces”.
Ms Isaac said it was unclear to her the reason for the intended deletion and the proposed addition. The people that attended the public hearings, many of them would not have access to publications and might not read the languages of some of these publications. While she understood the addition of “circulation nationally and in the provinces”, she did not understand the deletion of make it known in the district.
The Chairperson suggested that they retain the district jointly with the national and provincial circulation.
The Committee agreed.
Mr Mileham said the sentence should be as follows: “he or she shall cause notice of the claim to be published in the Gazette, in the media circulating nationally and in the province, and shall take steps to make it known in the district”. The sentence made lot of sense because the information would be published in the Gazette, the media and put on bulletin boards, and a public meeting would make it known in the district.
Ms Noluthando Mpikashe, Senior State Law Adviser: Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (DoJCD) suggested they leave that paragraph as it was but retain steps to make it known to the district and put a comma after district which made drafting sense.
The Chairperson said it therefore should read: “he or she shall cause notice of the claim to be published in the Gazette and shall take steps to make it known in the district, and in the media circulating nationally and in the province”.
Ms Mpikashe agreed that it would correct in that way.
Mr Mileham said he disagreed in terms of grammar. The first proposal was correct: “he or she shall cause notice of the claim to be published in the Gazette, in the media circulating nationally and in the province, and shall take steps to make it known in the district in which the land in question was situated”.
The Chairperson asked if they could take that.
Ms Mpikashe agreed that the paragraph was fine like that.
The Chairperson read out the amendment that Mr Mileham had proposed and the Committee agreed.
Clause 3 Amendment of section 12 of Act 22 of 1994
The Chairperson read out the amendment of 31 December 1998 to 30 June 2019.
The Committee agreed.
Clause 4 Substitution of section 17 of Act 22 of 1994
The Chairperson read out the amendment of a (fine or to) replaced by imprisonment for a period not exceeding (three) six months.
Ms Mpikashe said that they assumed that a person was innocent until proven guilty, so in paragraph (e) it should read: “prevents, obstructs or unduly influences a claimant or any other person from pursuing his or her rights provided for in this Act, commits an offence and upon conviction shall be guilty to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months”. So, instead of saying “shall be guilty” they should say “commits an offence and upon conviction liable”.
Mr Ntapane said there was nothing wrong with, “shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction” because it said on conviction.
The Chairperson said that in other words it did not pre-suppose guilty and could only be found guilty after the person had been convicted.
Ms Mpikashe said there was nothing wrong with the paragraph. Rather, it was the way they were drafting it, they were no longer using the words “shall be guilty” but using “commits an offence and upon conviction is liable to a fine”. It was a new drafting style that they were now using.
Mr Swathe said that if the meaning was the same there was no need to change the paragraph, unless the meaning was different.
Mr Ntapane said that if they were currently using the words “committing an offence” they would be repeating themselves because section 4 was already dealing with offences and penalties. To mention one commits an offence was repetition. He said that the paragraph was correct as it was.
The Chairperson said that they respected the drafting style of DoJCD but they would leave the paragraph as it was. The drafting style Ms Mpikashe was referring to did not change the meaning of the sentence.
The Committee agreed.
Clause 5 Amendment of section 22 of Act 22 of 1994
The Chairperson read out the amendment of section 22 (b) “President of the Republic” to the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development.
Mr Mileham said that section 22(b) had a problem with the unlimited appointment of an acting judge because they were taking away a limited appointment of one month and replacing it with an undetermined number where the Minister could say the acting judge was appointed for 8 -10 years. They needed to limit that discretion in some way like three to six months because the undetermined term was not correction.
The Chairperson asked what section 175(2) of the Constitution was saying.
Ms Mpikashe read out section 175(2): “the Cabinet Member responsible for justice must appoint acting judges to other courts after consulting the Senior Judge of the Court on which the acting judge will serve”.
The Chairperson said that that amendment talked to section 175(2) of the Constitution, it still did not talk about the term of the appointment.
Mr Ntapane said he agreed with Mr Mileham because it was not specific. He proposed that the provision should say for the remaining term.
Mr Mileham said that the reason why they would not want to appoint an acting judge for the remainder of the term was because an acting judge was an acting position which was there until the vacancy was filled. He was quite happy with a period of three to six months but not longer than six months.
The Chairperson asked what the reasons were that necessitated that appointment.
The Commissioner said that the acting role was sometimes required for longer than one month and it created a problem if the case took longer than one month. If a judge acted more than one month, they would need to find another judge who could act in that role. Sometimes acting was not only to fill a gap of a judge that was not there and sometimes the requirement would be that the court needed acting judges. The one month was not practical because it did not allow the acting judge to actually carry out the mandate given.
In reply to a question by the Chair, the Commissioner continued that their intention was to align the work done by the judges in the High Court with those judges working in the Land Claims Court. So, judges were seconded to act in various courts sometimes for six months or more. Therefore, one month was not a workable solution especially if they wanted to align their process with the High Court.
Ms Isaac said that the Constitution did not place limitations on the period of the judge’s acting appointment of in terms of the Minister’s powers. However, they would have to check how the acting judges in the High Court were appointed to ensure that they both aligned. This was before they decided on whether to limit it or set an appropriate term.
The Chairperson asked, since the Constitution did not place a limit, was there a problem if they phrased it in line with the Constitution.
Mr Mileham said the Commissioner had explained why he did not want it to state one month but rather six months or a period not exceeding six months. Secondly, the Constitution did not talk about acting judges at all. The fact that it was not mentioned, it did not mean they could not empower legislation to limit it.
The Chairperson said that they did not want to create a situation where they put in a limit and at the end of that limit, the acting judge was not finished with the job. They would then have to come back and extend the limit, which was a problem. He suggested that they leave it the way it was framed because the reason it was framed like that was that it was based on experience and certain practices.
Mr Mileham requested the Committee to allow him to consult his political party on this amendment because he believed the powers given to the Minister could lead to the abuse of power.
Mr Swathe said he was not happy with the amendment changing powers from the President to the Minister.
Ms Tshepo Mahlaela, Chief Director in Legal Service: DRDLR said that there had been a lengthy discussion on the amendment with the DoJCD where they have tried to align the acting appointment with what was practically happening in Justice about acting appointments of judges. Hence, they changed it from the President to the Minister. This is one of the things they have done with High Court judges because it became a very long process to get the President to appoint the judge. Therefore, they aligned it with the way the Department of Justice was doing it.
The Chairperson said that they should flag this amendment.
[Note: Later in the meeting, the Committee revisited Clause 5 after Mr Mileham had consulted his political party about it.
Mr Mileham (DA) said that his political party had informed him that it was the norm in the High Court for acting judges to be appointed for a limited period of 3 to 6 months. However, there was no determined limit and the Minister did have discretion in that regard. The norm was a short term of 3 to 6 months but it could be 8 years, 10 years or whatever. Therefore, in that regard he withdrew his objection to that clause.
The Chairperson determined that the amendment would remain as it was.
The Committee agreed.]
Clause 6 Insertion of section 22A in Act 22 of 1994
The Chairperson read out the insertion.
In reply to the Chairperson asking if they still refer to it as the Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Act as 2013, Ms Mpikashe said that because it was introduced in 2013 it had to be 2013.
Mr Mileham asked why a judge that had been seconded to the court, would not wish to hold a concurrent appointment in the Land Claims Court, did they have a choice in the matter?
Mr Mdontswa said that that the clause on transitional arrangements came as a result of submission made by the judges of the Land Claims Court. Yesterday, they had mentioned that currently the Land Claims Court had two permanent judges: Judge Meer and Judge Moloto. Judge Moloto was performing and assisting an International Court and Judge Meer was an Acting Judge President. They were appointed in terms of section 26(a). They were initially appointed as judges of the Land Claims Court and then later, after being interviewed by the Judicial Service Commission, were appointed as judges of the High Court. The two judges - by virtue of 5(4) which required that judges of the Land Claims Court should be judges of the High Court - with them it was done the other way around. The transitional arrangements were then introduced. One of the issues was that those judges might not want to be judges of the Land Claims Court. The DRDLR and the Department of Justice have agreed that a judge who did not wish to be seconded or appointed as a judge of the Land Claims Court could then write to the JSC indicating this whereupon the appointment would be terminated.
Ms Isaac said that regarding the date of the Act, it was still a Bill and they should continue with it in that manner.
The Committee agreed.
Clause 7 Repeal of section 23 of Act 22 of 1994
The Chairperson read out the repeal of section 23 of Act 22 of 1994.
The Committee agreed.
Clause 8 Repeal of section 26 of Act 22 of 1994
The Chairperson read out the repeal of section 26 of Act 22 of 1994.
The Committee agreed.
Clause 9 Repeal of section 26A of Act 22 of 1994
The Chairperson read out the repeal of section 26A of Act 22 of 1994.
The Committee agreed.
Clause 10 Amendment of section 38B of Act 22 of 1994
The Chairperson read out the amendment of section 38B of Act 22 of 1994.
The Committee agreed.
Clause 11 Amendment of section 38D of Act 22 of 1994
The Chairperson read out the amendment of section 38D of Act 22 of 1994.
The Committee agreed.
Clause 12 Amendment of section 42D of Act 22 of 1994
The Chairperson read out the amendment of section 42D of Act 22 of 1994.
Mr Mileham said that there should be an “or” before the Chief Land Claims Commissioner. The clause was quite controversial during the public hearings particularly the reference factors set out in section 33. He had no problem with those factors but there were members of the public who felt that those criteria were onerous.
Mr Mdontswa said that in the draft version of the Bill they had amended section 33 by proposing two additional factors should be taken into account: the costs of acquiring the land and the claimant’s ability to use the land productively, and that was what the public was concerned about. They did point out every time it was raised that the clause had been removed from the version of the Bill tabled in Parliament.
The original Act only empowered the court to settle claims. It was later amended to empower the Minister to also settle claims. But there was nothing that guided the Minister when applying his discretion to come to an agreement to settle a claim. The intention was that the Minister should take into account the same factors the court would look at, for example, that it met the requirements of equity and justice. There were binding agreement settling claims, which did not meet the requirements of equity and justice. There was no such requirement for the Minister to ensure that this took place yet they were very much binding legal agreements.
The Committee agreed to the clause.
The Chairperson read the short title of the Act as the Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Act, 2013.
The Committee agreed to the clause.
The Chairperson said that all the proposed amendments had been captured.
Proposed new amendment to Section 6(2)(d) of the Act
The Chairperson said the Committee would listen to a new amendment that DRDLR was proposing.
Mr Mdontswa said that there had been a concern about ring fencing and prioritisation of claims that were lodged before 1998 in the submissions. They proposed an amendment to the Committee that would make that prioritisation possible. Currently, Section 6(2)(d) of the Restitution Act provided for prioritisation and stated that the Commission may, through the Chief Land Claims Commissioner or a Regional Land Claims Commissioner or a person designated by such a Commissioner, ensure that priority was given to claims which affected a substantial number of persons or persons who had suffered substantial losses as a result of dispossession or persons with particular pressing needs.
Section 6(2) of the Act currently identified three categories of claims that could be prioritised – those that had a substantial number of persons that were claimants, those where the claimant had suffered substantial losses as a result of dispossession, and thirdly, those persons with particularly pressing needs. DRDLR was proposing that it add a fourth category which would be number one in the categorisation and that category would be: those persons who lodge their claims before 31 December 1998. The Chief State Law Adviser requested assistance in phrasing that amendment.
The Chairperson repeated the proposed amendment to Section 6(2)(d) and Mr Mdontswa confirmed this.
Mr Mileham (DA) suggested a slight amendment: those who lodged their claims before 31 December 1998, and had not yet been finalised at the date of promulgation. The point was that they were dealing with a small group of 8 000 claims out of 80 000 claims. They did not want all 80 000 claims to be prioritised but just the 8 000 that were not finalised yet.
Ms Isaac said that many public submissions during the public hearings said that claimants were concerned that their claims would not be given priority because of the new process. This suggestion by the department would cover all those categories and she was not sure about limiting just to certain categories of claims.
The Chairperson said that the amendment talked about those who lodged before 31 December 1998. The suggestion was that the ring fencing would probably affect 8 000 claimants. He asked if there was a problem with that arrangement so it included all those claims that had not been addressed out of the total of 80 000.
Mr Mileham said that as the other 72 000 had been finalised, there was no need to ring fence them because they had already received their compensation. They could submit new claims on other land which they were entitled to which would fall into the new claims window. They needed to focus on the 8 000 claims they have currently not resolved.
The Chairperson said that they should take into account the reports which the Commission had given to them which indicated that there were claims that were perhaps settled but not finalised - where they were trying to accommodate certain matters.
Mr Ntapane said that he was not against what Mr Mileham was saying, but if one’s claim had been settled that was the end of it - the claimant would not lodge the same claim again. There was no big deal in adding Mr Mileham’s suggestion but at the same time it had no impact.
The Chairperson said that they should agree as a Committee that it was better if they concentrated only “on the claims lodged before 31 December 1998” because there was nothing that was making sense and it was obvious once one’s claim was sorted out, there was no point for one to be ring fenced.
Mr Allan Small, Senior State Law Adviser, said that they would look at the Act and other legislation and after formulation of the proposed amendment, his colleagues would liaise with DRDLR too see if it was correct, keeping to what was agreed to by the Committee.
The Chairperson said in principle they have agreed as a Committee that the proposed amendment was relevant. Tomorrow, they would check if all proposed amendments coming out of this meeting had been correctly captured, look at the formulation of the new amendment tabled by the department and then adopt the Bill.
The meeting was adjourned.
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