The Joint Constitutional Review Committee (JCRC) has adopted its report in favour of an amendment of Section 25 of the Constitution, to make it possible for the state to expropriate land without compensation in the public interest.

The JCRC was instructed by the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces to ascertain whether a review of Section 25 of the Constitution and other clauses is necessary, to make it possible for the state to expropriate land in the public interest without compensation, and also to propose constitutional amendments where necessary.

Dr. John Purchase, CEO of Agbiz, highlighted that this was the outcome that they expected from the committee and are yet to see the amendment bill and under which conditions expropriation without compensation can take place. Although this decision was foreseen, Purchase remains concerned about how this outcome will affect the commercial farmland market, but also highlighted that this is an important part of the process under which land reform needs to take place.

The constitutional amendment bill which describes clear and concise terms on how land expropriation will be conducted, still needs to go to Parliament to be debated. Agbiz will also submit its comments and inputs during the comment period before the amendment bill undergoes the adoption process.

Acting co-chairperson of the Committee, Stan Maila said the committee has tried as much as possible to accommodate all views in its report. “It was clear during this process that there was total agreement that there was a need for urgent and accelerated land reform in order to address the injustices of the past, which were inflicted on the majority of South Africans. The hunger for land among the dispossessed clearly showed.” – Press release