Former Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela wrote an opinion piece for the Business Day relating to the recent public hearings which are looking to amend Section 25 of the Constitution to expropriate land without compensation. Here is what she had to say:
Like many South Africans, and possibly the world, I have followed with deep interest the Constitutional Review Committee’s public hearings on land expropriation without compensation and the proposed amendment of Section 25 of the Constitution.
Though the platform has been great for giving people an opportunity to express their hopes, fears and concerns about the emotional issue of land, I remain convinced that this alone will not leave us any wiser on how to proceed.
It seems to me the problem lies partly in the framing of the question. People are simply answering the question as to whether they support expropriation without compensation and the amendment of Section 25 to allow it.
Responses are also racially split. The majority of black people say yes and white people say no. Supporters argue that the current process of restitution and redistribution has been slow and that land was stolen, so it must be handed back to its rightful owners without compensation.
Missing, or muted, is the fact that the current constitutional provisions have never been fully implemented. Specifically, Section 25(8) of the Constitution permits expropriation with and without compensation — yet it has never been tried. – Thuli Madonsela/ Business Day