POLOKWANE – “In Limpopo, a combined 91% of land is owned by government and the former homelands, while whites own 9,1%.”
The DA last week held a public meeting at Laerskool Pietersburg, to enlighten interested parties on issues around the proposed changes to the Constitution’s Section 25, that relate to land expropriation without compensation. Smalle explained why a meeting of this nature was so important.
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“The process to have the Constitution amended is well underway and cannot be withdrawn. Public participation processes will commence and this is where people need to be educated and informed.”
A public participation meeting will, however, not be held in Polokwane.
“It is going to be critical that those who are either for or against the matter, let their voices be heard at these public meetings,” he said.
Relating to the proposed changes, Smalle said what most residents don’t know is that ‘property’ does not mean land only.
“It means your shares, your car, your house. If this law is passed it would in effect mean that anything that belongs to you can be taken without compensation,” he added.
He explained that a lengthy legal process needs to be followed and there are international treaties, for instance, that will be affected.
The Constitution would also have to be amended and this is something that cannot be done easily. Amending the Constitution will lead to more public participation processes that need to be done.
The closest place where people in and around Polokwane can attend the hearings is in Mokopane, on 28 June.
Smalle explained that during the meeting, a committee will listen to what people have to say and document the replies either for or against the changes and then compile a report to go to parliament for consideration.
According to the DA Limpopo leader, around 12,5 million hectares of land are available in Limpopo. Of this, 27% is in the hands of the former homelands, 9,1% is owned by whites and the rest is in the hands of government.
“We are passing this information so it can be put into perspective. If this law passes, everyone will be affected and this may lead to conflict.”