African National Congress (ANC) NEC member Ronald Lamola said on Monday that the Land summit that took place during the weekend recommended that government must go ahead with the exportation of land without compensation in instances where it can be done.
“Our view is that section 25 as it currently stands allows for us to exportation without compensation but the debate has been that it has not been tested. So we are saying let’s put section 25 into a test, through various mechanisms, including the issues of the farm dwellers.
“But also for us to put forward an expropriation Bill before parliament, that will clearly stipulate the expropriation without compensation and under which circumstances,” Lamola said.
Section 25 of the constitution as it currently stands states that “Property may be expropriated only in terms of the law of general application, and (b) says ‘subject to compensation”.
Speaking at the Land Summit press briefing on Monday, Lamola said that they have also discussed the possibility of President Cyril Ramaphosa taking their proposed expropriation Bill to the Constitutional Court once it has been passed to check its constitutionality.
“Because we are not sure whether we can do that or not, it will be subject to legal advice. To test the constitutionality of the expropriation Bill to expropriation without compensation. That will then cut out the red tape. It will give clarity. We can then proceed with the expropriation of land without compensation.”
Lamola said that in the event where the Constitutional Court comes up with a different interpretation of the constitution, that is the part that would be amended.
However, he called on government departments that currently hold the powers to expropriate to continue with expropriation without compensation.
He added that if ever there are challenges, the government must not be scared to proceed to the courts to ‘clarify the principle’.
“We are calling the government to act and to proceed.”