“Yes to expropriation” the general feeling at Upington public hearings

The second leg of the Northern Cape public hearings into land expropriation without compensation took place on Thursday, with most speaking in favour of a constitutional amendment.

Held in Upington, the hearings from part of national hearings on a review of section 25 of the Constitution — which deals with property rights — to make it possible for the state to expropriate land “in the public interest without compensation”.

Earlier this year, the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces resolved to mandate the Joint Constitutional Review Committee to review this section of the Constitution. More than 700 000 written submissions forms from the public were made.

Keimoes resident, Johannes Sampson, said he was opposed to such expropriation because he and his community were disadvantaged.

“Ons soek [net] vergoeding,” he said.

AfriForum’s Jan Badenhorst said the move would “be detrimental to society and employment rates” and also scare investors.

But while there were those opposed to the proposed amendment, many spoke in favour of it.

Renico Mienies, a Wegdraai resident, said: “I am tired of living in a cage. Please, can our people not just get the land back that was taken from our forefathers.”

During her oral submission, Upington resident Xoliswa Xabendlini, said: “We are not here to scare white farmers. We are here to address injustices.”

The hearings continue this week in Kuruman and Kimberley.

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Carl Collison
Carl Collison
Carl Collison is a freelance journalist who focuses primarily on covering queer-related issues across Africa

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