A summary of this committee meeting is not yet available.
HOUSING PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
1 June 2005
PREVENTION OF ILLEGAL EVICTION FROM AND UNLAWFUL OCCUPATION OF LAND AMENDMENT BILL: DELIBERATIONS
Acting Chairperson: Mr L Modisenyane (ANC)
Documents handed out:
Prevention of Illegal Eviction from and Unlawful Occupation of Land Amendment Bill [B11 - 2005]
Prevention of Illegal Eviction from and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act of 1998
Modderklip Boerdery (Pty) Ltd Constitutional Court judgement at www.constitutionalcourt.org.za
In a turnaround from the previous meeting of 25 May, where the Department had pressured the Committee to adopt the Bill immediately, the Committee was asked to not to adopt the Bill. The Department of Housing and the Department of Land Affairs asked the Committee not to proceed with deliberations on the Prevention of Illegal Eviction from and Unlawful Occupation of Land Amendment Bill. The two Departments felt that more time was needed to address the issues that existed around the Amendment Bill. These included the need for greater consultation; the need to thoroughly understand the possible unintended consequences that could arise from implementation, the need to devise a holistic approach to illegal occupations and evictions; and the need to analyse the implications of the Modderklip farm Constitutional Court judgement of 13 May 2005. The Housing Minister had also requested that all legislation related to human settlement be reviewed. Both the ANC and the Democratic Alliance granted the two Departments’ request for more time. The ANC agreed that a holistic approach to illegal occupations and evictions was required. The DA noted that the reworking of the Amendment Bill should be undertaken timeously.
The Chairperson, Ms Z Kota (ANC), was unable to attend the meeting. In her absence Mr L Modisenyane (ANC) was elected Acting Chairperson. The Acting Chair asked the Department to speak on the Bill before the deliberations.
Department of Housing input
Ms H Pieterse (Acting Director, Legal Framework: Department of Housing) requested that the Committee consider adjourning deliberation on the Prevention of Illegal Eviction from and Unlawful Occupation of Land Amendment Bill. She outlined the reasons why the Department of Housing had submitted this request. These reasons included:
- unintended legal consequences could arise from the adoption of the Amendment Bill’s in its present form;
- the Minister of Housing had called for a review of all the legislation, which impacted on human settlements;
- the three pieces of legislation that pertained to evictions needed to be aligned;
- the Minister had announced that special mechanisms for the acquisition of land would be implemented in the near future;
- there was a need for further input and consultation around the Amendment Bill;
- as a result of the various court cases, such as the Modderklip farm Constitutional Court judgement of 13 May 2005, it was realised that a holistic approach to the eviction of illegal occupiers was required.
The Department of Housing, therefore, felt that the adoption of the Amendment Bill should be delayed.
Department of Land Affairs input
Adv Dirk Du Toit (Deputy Minster of Land Affairs) stated that the Department of Land Affairs had considered the matter carefully. Although the Amendment Bill had been drafted by the Department of Housing, the execution of the Amendment Bill would be assigned to the Department of Land Affairs. However, there needed to be further consultation on the Amendment Bill. The Modderklip case was an important ruling because it linked evictions with the provision of alternative land. The Departments needed to further consider the implications of this ruling. Adv Du Toit added that the Department of Land Affairs had not been critical of the Amendment Bill. The context around the issue of evictions was broad and this needed further consideration.
Mr C Brocker (Director of Legal Services: Department of Land Affairs) added that the Modderklip case provided a number of lessons for the government. One lesson was that there needed to be greater interdepartmental co-operation. Another aspect of the ruling was that the state, which included the three spheres of government, was responsible for providing alternative land and housing for evicted illegal occupiers. Due to the Modderklip judgement, the Department of Land Affairs and the Department of Housing would need to adopt a holistic approach towards evictions. This would take time.
Mr Brocker added that practical difficulties would also have to be addressed. The government needed to balance the rights of landowners and develop a strategy, which would meet peoples’ constitutional rights in a sustainable manner. In order to do this, there needed to be spatial planning. This included identifying alternative sites for the relocation of illegal occupiers. Added to this, it needed to be clarified which department or sphere of government would be involved in addressing issues arising from illegal occupations. For example, would it be the responsibility of Land Affairs, or the Housing Department, or provincial governments, or local governments to find solutions? In particular, local governments needed to be consulted because they would be in the front line of any eviction. He added that with a concerted effort, government would be able formulate a holistic solution. Unfortunately, more time would be required in order to achieve to do so.
The Chairperson called on the parties to consider the Departments’ request for more time to work on the issues related to the Amendment Bill.
Mr A Steyn (DA) stated that delaying the Amendment Bill was probably the correct decision. It would be counter-productive to forge ahead with the Amendment Bill, in its present form, if unexpected consequences were going to result. However, the Amendment Bill was aimed at addressing the unintended consequences that had already arisen from the present legislation. As a result, the reworking of the Amendment Bill needed to be completed swiftly. It should not be delayed for another two years before it was resubmitted to the Committee. All the problems with the legislation that related to land and housing needed to be addressed simultaneously.
Mr T Dodovu (ANC) stated that the ANC supported the request from the Department of Housing and the Department of Land Affairs for a delay. The Amendment Bill, and the issues surrounding it, needed to be referred back to the Departments so that a holistic approach could be formulated. The government needed to be systematic in order not to create unintended consequences. Added to this, there needed to be further consultation. A delay would also allow for an analysis of the implications of the recent eviction case judgements. He stated that it was encouraging that the two Departments were co-operating around the issue of the Amendment Bill. However, priority needed to be given to reworking the Amendment Bill.
The Chairperson noted that the Committee had granted the Departments’ request for more time to work on the Amendment Bill.
The committee minutes of 25 May were adopted.
The meeting was adjourned.
No related documents
- We don't have attendance info for this committee meeting
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.