15 July 2018


Land expropriation public hearings attract youth    

by: Obakeng Maje      date: 06 july 2018

The discussion over the possible land expropriation without compensation has gained momentum in Bokone Bophirima,  especially among the youth. 
A delegation of the Joint Constitutional Review Committee will visit Taung, Mahikeng and Rustenburg next week to continue with the public hearings.
The decision to hold public hearings follows a mandate by the National Assembly (NA) and the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) to ascertain whether a review of Section 25 of the Constitution and other clauses is necessary to speed up land redistribution.
Co-Chairperson of the committee, Lewis Nzimande, commended the large number of South Africans that attended the hearings.
“Everyday at least 600 people attended our hearings. They were vibrant, yet orderly. They broke out in song and dance at time, yet they were orderly. This must be commended.
“These large numbers we saw is a reflection of the importance of land in our country. It can also be seen as positive to the trust that ordinary South Africans put in Parliament and its processes,” Nzimande said.
He also welcomed the variety of views and “quality” of inputs made by the public. Nzimande said it is clear that South Africans thought deeply about this before coming to the hearings.
“The hearings are for all South Africans, irrespective of colour, political affiliation or viewpoint, who wish to have a say on expropriation of land without compensation.
“We assure the public that all views will be taken into consideration during deliberations on the matter. We want to encourage the public to attend the remainder of the hearings. The two delegations of the committee will reconvene in just over a week to restart public hearings,” Nzimande said.
He added that Team A will travel to the North West for hearings on 17 July and Team B will reconvene on 18 July in KwaZulu-Natal.
“We will be in Taung Community Hall in Taung from 11am until 4pm on the 17th of July 2018. The delegation will now move to Mahikeng Civic Centre in Mahikeng on the 18th of July 2018 at the same time.
“We will conclude our visit in North West on the 19th of July 2018 at Rustenburg Civic Centre in Rustenburg,” Nzimande said.  
ANCYL regional chairperson in Dr Ruth Mompati region, Seatlathebe Lepomane said: “We urge our people especially young people to attend those public hearings. It is imperative to bring your inputs and ensure that we get our land back.
“The land expropriation without compensation is a national issue. However, the question is that do we understand where we come from? We must also ensure that we have sufficient machinery in place to deal with this issue when it is ultimately achieved,” Lepomane said. 
A political activist from Vryburg, Orapeleng Matshidiso, said young people cannot be apologists in the land of their forebears. 
“History says it is not only land which was expropriated without compensation from our people. It reveals that the cows, dogs, chickens, cats, goats, horses, donkeys and many others things of our grandfathers and grandmothers were expropriated without compensation. 
“Our forebears were turned into slaves of the settlers in their own farms or land. Settlers expropriated their human dignity. Truth told, poverty takes away your human dignity,” Matshidiso said. 
He said the process of expropriation included even expropriation of labour powers. Matshidiso added that these unfortunate mishaps introduced cheap labour that has created the current racial inequalities and ridiculous minimum wage to poor workers.
“However, we seem to be haunted by the same concessions we made at the negotiations. We decided to systematically introduce the new sunset clause through this engagement of land question and focus only on land and leave the rest. 
“In my view, we could have just deliberately started by mentioning all those things, which were expropriated so that should we end up at the negotiation table we abandon others and remain steadfast and resolute on land,” Matshidiso said.