Constitutional Review Committee Concerned about Social Media Messages That Undermine Its Work

Parliament� The Joint Constitutional Review Committee has noted with shock and disbelief the fake messages that continue to be spread on social media, which attempt to undermine its work.

According to the latest WhatsApp message brought to the committee's attention, all non-South African citizens who own property in the country are warned that they will be affected by the process currently been undertaken by the committee.

Co-Chairperson of the committee Mr Lewis Nzimande cautioned against creating the impression that South Africa is xenophobic. We are definitely not targeting foreigners in South Africa. This type of fake news can lead to all sorts of criminality. It can also lead to a downturn in foreign investment, which is critical for our development. At this point, we are just establishing whether Section 25 of the Constitution is in need of amendment.

The Joint Constitutional Review Committee has called for written public submissions on the review of section 25 of the Constitution (Property Clause) and other sections where necessary, to make it possible for the state to expropriate land in the public interest without compensation. This comes after the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces mandated the constitutional review committee to propose the necessary constitutional amendments, where applicable, with regards to the future land tenure regime needed.

The WhatsApp refers to the recent motion in Parliament, but states falsely: The land that you now own will be taken away from you. You will then have to apply for a 25-year lease to stay on your land. This will obviously come with a price tag. If your application is disapproved, you will have to vacate your property or face legal action. I ask every citizen to take action, before it is too late.

Regarding the misleading information about leasing your own land from government, committee Co-Chairperson Mr Vincent Smith said this is completely untrue. No mechanism, criteria or conditionality has been established for land that is to be expropriated. That is all part of what we are currently looking into. We would like to discourage these types of messages that create confusion and fear in our people.

The committee reminded the public that the date for written submission has been extended to Friday, 15 June 2018.

Source: Parliament of the Republic of South Africa

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