The SA Police Service (SAPS) says the debate on expropriation of land without compensation has led to an increase in incidents of illegal occupation of property, and this could worsen in the lead up to the May 8 elections. Land invasions and related protests have escalated sharply across SA recently. According to figures published by the City of Cape Town in 2018, the metro saw a 53% increase in land invasions. Protests relating to the land in Cape Town increased by 249% in the 2017/2018 financial year. Amid the debate on the issue in 2018, EFF leader Julius Malema called on people to occupy any vacant land they find. In December, the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces adopted a contentious report that called for a constitutional amendment to make it explicit that expropriation without compensation be used as a means to address historically skewed land ownership patterns. Last week, parliament’s ad hoc committee tasked with amending section 25 of the constitutio...

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