Today marks the deadline for political parties to hand in their submissions on the Draft Section 25 Amendment Bill. The Democratic Alliance (DA) can confirm that the Party has taken the decision to not make any submissions on the Draft Bill as we strongly believe that Section 25 of the Constitution should not be amended.
We will however carefully and thoroughly study all the submissions made by other political parties, in line with our long-held position on advancing land reform that does not entail land expropriation without compensation.
The Constitution is not and has never been a barrier to land reform. The barriers to land reform have been and continue to be ANC-government corruption, constrained budgets and a lack of political will.
The Constitution in its current form includes legitimate mechanisms for land redistribution, including expropriation without compensation, based on just and equitable compensation.
For this reason, the DA will not be making any submissions to the Ad Hoc Committee to Initiate and Introduce Legislation Amending Section 25 of the Constitution, as we believe that the amendment of the Constitution for the purposes of implementing expropriation without compensation will undermine the core values of our Constitution, and amounts to nothing more than confiscation.
The DA unequivocally supports a legal and constitutionally outlined processes for land reform. And such a process is possible without compromising our hard-fought Constitution and should be expedited.
The following sections from page 72 of the final report by the Presidential Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture clearly states that amending the Constitution to allow for land expropriation is in and of itself unconstitutional, and frankly unnecessary:
- “Without a constitutional amendment to section 25, the State is currently able and within its powers to expropriate land for land reform purposes, based on just and equitable compensation.”
- “If, however, the purpose of the amendment is to implement expropriation without compensation wholescale and without conditions, then such a motion would offend section 1 of the Constitution and would in effect, collapse the core underlying values of our Constitution.”
If land reform is not approached carefully, the consequences will be disastrous. The DA will continue to unashamedly fight to protect our Constitution and individual property rights, while ensuring land ownership for more South Africans.