An amendment to the constitution to make it clear that expropriation without compensation can be used as a means to address skewed land ownership patterns is a step closer to being a done deal. On Tuesday, the National Assembly adopted the controversial report on expropriation without compensation despite strong objections by the official opposition, the DA, which has vowed to launch a court challenge. Early in November, the constitutional review committee formally resolved to recommend that the property section of the constitution be changed, to make it explicit that expropriation without compensation be one of the means available to address skewed land ownership patterns dating back to the colonial and apartheid eras. The committee ignored objections from various opposition parties, business organisations and some academics, who have argued that the change will deter investment without dealing with the real causes of the slow pace of land reform, almost 25 years after SA’s first d...

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