The National Assembly has voted to adopt the report of the Constitutional Review Committee on the review of Section 25 of the Constitution.
The proposed Constitutional review will allow for land expropriation without compensation in South Africa.
209 MPs voted for the report to be adopted, while 91 voted against the adoption. Those in opposition to the report included the DA, IFP, ACDP, FF Plus and COPE.
Ahead of the vote, the National Assembly heard how 449,552 authentic written submissions were made on the proposal for the Constitution to be amended.
Notably, the report found that 65% of the written submission were in opposition to the amendment.
However, Stan Maila – who was a co-chairperson for the Joint Constitutional Review Committee – noted that because the process was not a referendum the number of people against the amendment of the Constitution was not relevant.
The adoption of the report comes after a protracted public consultation process, followed by country-wide public hearings, which saw people from all walks of life making written and oral submissions.
Depending on the resolution from the House on Thursday (6 November), the report will now be forwarded to either a portfolio committee or an ad hoc committee which will convene to determine its programme going forward.
With the Constitution having been amended 17 times before, this is the first time that an amendment will be made on a section in the Bill of Rights and will necessitate an intensive public consultation process.
As such, the selected committee is bound to produce a draft Bill which will be made available for public comment for at least 30 days.