Land Expropriation Bill – Dear SA asks for help


Dear South Africa, an NGO facilitating public participation, notes a drastic swing in public opinion on the proposed amendment to the constitution catering for expropriation without compensation.

In December 2019, Parliament invited the public to provide written comment by 29 February, on a draft amendment to the Constitution catering for expropriation without compensation. Under South African laws, the government is compelled to grant the public an opportunity to provide an influencing comment on all policy and legislative amendments before implementation. However, such opportunities are often inadequately announced or facilitated, and extracting outcomes information from the government is challenging.

Alongside their 78 other participation campaigns, DearSA has been at the forefront of facilitating public participation by individually delivering over 520,000 public comments to Parliament during this Constitutional Amendment process.

“Although we have seen a concerning overall decline in public participation in this third round, we do note an increase in opposition to the constitutional amendment,” says Rob Hutchinson, MD of DearSA.

Participation from the “in favour” camp has significantly decreased while the “opposed” crowd has grown. Of the 190,573 who participated in this third round, 171,655 (90%) oppose the amendment, 14,870 support it and 4,048 partially.

“In the first round of June 2018, we received over 100,000 public comments in favour of amending the Constitution – 44% of the total participants. This latest third round has seen only 14,870 (8%) directly supporting the amendment,” says Hutchinson.

A full report and list of comments is available for download at this link on DearSA’s website.

The Committee is now hosting public hearings during March and April to enable those with limited access to internet or data to provide comment. DearSA will be closely monitoring the hearings to ensure a fair and accurate process is followed.

What will happen after the public hearings?

The AdHoc Committee will return the Bill to the National Assembly after considering all the public input. The members of the National Assembly will then vote on the Constitution Eighteenth Amendment Bill. If passed, the Bill will then be brought before the National Council of Provinces (NCOP). Once passed, the law will allow for the expropriation of land AND property without compensation.

Objectives of the Bill

Subsection 2 (b); Provides for a court of law to make a decision for nil compensation when land or property is expropriated for land reform.

Subsection 3; Sets out the conditions and circumstances that must be considered when a decision is made by a court regarding the amount of compensation.

Subsection 3A; National legislation must be passed that outlines the circumstances when a court may arrive at nil compensation for expropriated land or property e.g. The Expropriation Bill.

Why is Parliament conducting public hearings again?

Parliament, mandated by the Constitution, must ensure that the public is involved in all its processes, including law-making. To satisfy this mandate, the Ad Hoc Committee is inviting all interested and affected parties, individually and or organised, to participate in the 18th Amendment of the Constitution, as it relates to Section 25.

The Committee will consider all public input on the amendment of the Constitution in order for the NA to pass the Bill.


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Kouga Traffic gears up for regular roadblocks

Motorists with outstanding traffic fines are encouraged to settle their debt or risk facing jail time. This is the warning from Kouga Community Services Portfolio Councillor Daniel Benson.

Benson said the Kouga Traffic Department would be holding daily roadblocks across the region so as to ensure motorists and their vehicles were legally on the road.

“Traffic officers will also be checking if motorists have any outstanding fines or if a warrant has been issued for their arrest. If this is the case, you can be arrested if unable to pay the fine.”

Motorists can pay outstanding fines at the Kouga Traffic Department in Heugh Street, Humansdorp.

Anyone who would like to find out if they have any outstanding fines can contact Traffic Officer Sean Williams at 081 319 5083 for assistance.

Municipality to help monitor pilchard recall

Pilchards recallEnvironmental Health Offices will be visiting shops across the Kouga region this week to ensure they have taken certain brands of pilchards off their shelves.

This follows the national recall of 400g Pilchards in Tomato Sauce and 400g Pilchards in Chilli Sauce, manufactured in 2019 by West Point Processors in Cape Town.

Kouga Community Services Portfolio Councillor Daniel Benson said the following brands of the product had been recalled by the National Regular for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS): Cape Point, Checkers housebrand, Deep Catch, Mammas, OK housebrand, Prime Ocean, Saldanha, Shoprite Ritebrand, Spar, Sunny, Ubrand and West Point.

“The products further bear the markings starting with ‘ZST29’ and ‘ZSC29’ on top of the can for easy identification,” he said.

According to a statement from the NRCS, the products were recalled after an investigation revealed a deficiency in the canning process.

“Some of the cans were compromised during the sauce-filling step on the production line, therefore, could affect the safety of consumers.

“The problem manifests itself after months of storage, which cause the content of the can to react with the metal of the can,” the statement reads.

The NRCS regulates the manufacture, production and treatment of canned fish and fishery products as part of the Compulsory Specifications (VC8014).

All canned Fish and fishery products that are manufactured in the Republic of South Africa are inspected and released by NRCS for trade according to regulatory protocols.

For technical queries, please speak to Meisie Katz on 0 21 526 3401 / 084 427 0467.

Should anyone see the recalled products for sale, please inform the shop owner. If they refuse to remove it, please report this to the Kouga Call Centre on 042 200 2200.