Cape Town – The Provincial Legislature’s Standing Committee on Agriculture will make a point of consulting academics and targeting rural populations rather than city dwellers during the upcoming public participation process regarding the Improvement Bill land rights (Ultra).
This was decided at a committee meeting where the committee was informed that it had a tight three-week schedule to provide comments to the National Council of Provinces on the bill.
The amending bill was necessitated by two orders of the Constitutional Court which ruled that the law, which dates back to 1991, was unconstitutional because it discriminated against women’s rights to own property independently.
Section 3 of the law was also inapplicable in the former apartheid countries of Transkei, Bophuthatswana, Venda and Ciskei, formerly known as TBVC states.
During a brief debate on what the announcement alerting the public to the process should look like, committee chairman Andricus van der Westhuizen (DA) said: “There is a proposal to remove the announcements in the print media, but since I am an expensive option, I suggest that we focus as soon as possible on two or three of the largest newspapers with a provincial footprint.
Van der Westhuizen said: “I would suggest that we send out invitations to academic institutions in the province because I know, for example, that UCT has an office specializing in land rights and land issues.
Committee member Peter Marais (FF Plus) said: “The bill refers to communal land which is mainly found in rural areas and not in cities. What should city dwellers bring about what should happen with communal land in TBVC states? “
Marais added: “We should consult with those most affected by this legislation first, because they deserve to be explained to them the ramifications of the legislation before anyone else.
“In the meantime, we shouldn’t worry about advertising in mainstream newspapers, but in this case, we should target free community newspapers as these are the ones that are most likely to be read by the poor in the world. who we want to talk to, ”he said.
Committee members Pat Marran (ANC) and Deidré Baartman (DA) supported the proposals and the measure was adopted.