In a hybrid meeting, held both on a virtual platform and in Parliament, the Committee Secretary presented the Committee Report on the Expropriation Bill [B23B -2020] that detailed the Committee amendments.
It noted that : The Committee engaged with the public, organised citizen groups, political parties, traditional leaders across the country to learn their views on the Bill that was tabled. It had further engagements with stakeholders, citizens and civil society organizations to listen to formal presentations on specific clauses of the Bill. The committee further collected views from broader society through email and WhatsApp to deepen its understanding of the views of the public. Following these deliberations, the committee engaged with the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure and the Office of the Chief State Law Advisor to amend clauses to the Expropriation Bill. The Bill with the Committee amendments is infused with the views of the public and the legal expertise of the Department, Parliament and the State Law Advisors.
The report highlighted the minority views of the various political parties that have members represented in the Committee.
The Committee approved the suggestion that the report should not be adopted in the current meeting but rather at the next meeting so Members could scrutinise the report in their own time.
The Chairperson indicated that the Committee was in the last phases of processing the Expropriation Bill. In the previous week, the Committee had dealt with the Bill clause-by-clause, and voted on each clause. The this meeting it consider the report prepared by the Committee Secretariat team, thereafter publishing the report in the Announcements, Tablings, and Committee Reports (ATC) before being presented in Parliament.
Almost a year ago there were public hearings, written submissions, and oral presentations on the Bill. There has been a considerable amount of correspondence with the public, and the consensus together with the views of the Committee was that the Act of 1975 has to be changed. She said that the challenge was the implementation of the changes and anyone who opposes this Bill does not want transformation.
The Chairperson commended the Committee and the various stakeholders on the work done towards ensuring that the Bill comes to fruition. No more submissions on the Bill will be accepted by the Committee.
Committee Report on Expropriation Bill
Committee Secretary, Ms Nola Matinise, said that the report focused on Committee amendments; minority views; adoption and approval of the report.
The Committee had considered the Bill clause-by-clause and adopted each clause which equated to the adoption of the Expropriation Bill. She said that it would be important to note that the Committee had engaged with the public widely such as organised citizen groups, political parties, traditional leaders across the country to learn their views on the Bill that was tabled. It had further engagements with stakeholders, citizens and civil society organizations to listen to formal presentations on specific clauses of the Bill. The Committee further collected views from broader society through email and WhatsApp to deepen its understanding of the views of the public. The Committee then engaged with the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) and the Office of the Chief State Law Advisor to infused with the views of the public into the Bill. The amended B version of the Bill [B23B-2020]) is the product of facilitating public involvement in the legislative process undertaken by the Committee.
Ms Matimise indicated that in compliance with National Assembly Rule 288, the Committee reported on particular clauses and their amendments and specified whether the Committee unanimously agreed to it or not.
She did not go through the amendments to clauses as this would be a repetition of the previous week's discussion by the Committee, and therefore she would not focus on it.
As guided by the National Assembly Rule 288 the minority views should be highlighted in the report. Minutes from the final consideration of the Bill of 7 September 2022 indicate that the Economic Freedom Fighters did not support any of the clauses and therefore rejected the entire Bill. It was noted that other parties had not provided written input in time for inclusion in the report.
Ms Matimise noted that the Chairperson indicated that there were parties that submitted their views to the Committee at a later stage, however, due to procedure, the views highlighted in the report are strictly those of Members who represent their political parties in the Committee only. Any other views will be dealt with in the National Assembly. According to the public participation report, all the political participants had made submissions and the views were no different from what has been received in the correspondence in the past two weeks.
The Democratic Alliance and Inkatha Freedom Party provided their views in time for inclusion in the report. On the Chairperson's guidance, she could go through those views clause-by-clause.
The Chairperson replied that there would be no need for the Secretary to go through the views clause-by-clause, as everyone was present at the previous Committee meeting. It should just be indicated that a party does not agree with a particular clause, and they have stated their reasons.
Ms Matinise dealt with the approval of the Bill. The majority of the Committee agreed with the clauses of the Bill, although not all clauses were fully supported by all the parties represented in the previous meeting. The minority views mentioned in the report state the clauses and the reasons the political parties represented in the Committee did not support them. After much deliberation, the Committee adopted the Expropriation Bill [B23B - 2020].
The Parliamentary Legal Advisor advised that there would be a consequential change to the year of the Bill which will read as Bill No 23 - 2022 or 2023 depending on how soon it will be finalised.
The Chairperson gave the different parties a moment to comment on the report.
Ms S Graham (DA) thanked Parliamentary Legal Advisor, Ms Phumelele Ngema, for the guidance and support she had given the Committee throughout the deliberations and for the opportunity for the DA to include its minority views.
Mr E Mathebula (ANC) said that the Chairperson needed to provide clarity on the earlier statement that public submissions would not be allowed so that it would not be interpreted that the Committee has denied the public from making submissions. He supported the Chairperson on the statement that no more submissions would be accepted.
The Chairperson reiterated that the time for any submissions has closed.
Mr W Thring (ACDP) thanked Committee members, the Chairperson, and the Committee secretariat for the work that they put into the Bill. He said that the ACDP did not support a minority report; however, he hoped that its position has been captured in the report.
Mr Mathebula joined his colleagues in praising the work and efforts done by the Committee, the Chairperson, and the Committee administration. The ANC proposes that the report should not be adopted in the current meeting, but in next week's meeting. The party would need to have a final look at the report and come back to adopt it.
Ms Graham supported the proposal made by Mr Mathebula.
Ms A Siwisa (EFF) said that irrespective of the day that the report is adopted, the EFF standpoint remains the same. The EFF cannot support an expropriation with a possible compensation, taking into consideration how property had been originally acquired in the past. The EFF would be able to put across its views when the Bill goes to the National Assembly with the reasons it does not support the Bill. The EFF believes that all land and property needs to be owned by the state and the state should decide how property will benefit everyone.
Mr Thring said that his praise was in terms of the process. The position of the ACDP has been clear from the onset. When security of tenure has been lost there is a ripple effect on the economy and the people on the ground. While there are clauses the ACDP has supported, 90% of the clause it has not supported. He said that the viewpoints will be thoroughly debated in the National Assembly. He said that the ACDP supports the suggestion made by Mr Mathebula.
Ms L Mjobo (ANC) supported her colleague on the suggestion to move the adoption of the report to the coming week's meeting.
The Chairperson approved that the report should be adopted in the following meeting.
The Chairperson reiterated once more that there was a time frame for written submissions and the closing date had passed. There were oral presentations from parties; organisations; civil society groups and everyone who had an interest in presenting their views to the Committee, which also had a closing time. Public hearings from all nine provinces were also closed in the stipulated time frame. No more submissions will be taken from the public, as all the views from public hearings, and oral presentations have been incorporated into the current deliberations. She appealed to political party members to indicate to the public that there will be a process followed by the NCOP to consider those views through its process. However, the Committee cannot take any more public submissions.
She thanked the political parties for their discipline in the process of the Bill.
Committee minutes were of the 23, 24, 25, 31 August and 7 September 2022 were considered and adopted with amendments.
The Chairperson said that the Committee will be taking up the issues of the parliamentary media control room, to ensure that the challenges of fire in early January are not still affecting the functioning of Committee work, and to have a physical recording of meetings instead of through the Zoom online platform. The Committee has an obligation to the people of South Africa, as they had voted for the Committee to go into Parliament and work on pressing matters pertaining to the country.
The meeting was adjourned.
Download as PDF
You can download this page as a PDF using your browser's print functionality. Click on the "Print" button below and select the "PDF" option under destinations/printers.
See detailed instructions for your browser here.