The land crisis could be a catalyst for beneficial change if the opportunity to rectify decades of neglect is recognised and harnessed‚ says one of SA’s leading restitution experts. Delivering a public lecture at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) on Tuesday‚ Prof Ruth Hall said an engaged citizenry willing to hold the government accountable was the solution to land redistribution‚ rather than a constitutional amendment. Hall‚ from UWC’s poverty‚ land and agrarian studies unit‚ said the state’s available powers had not been tested. The government had had the power to redistribute land without compensation since 1996. Section 25.3 of the Constitution specified that compensation for expropriation of property should be "just and equitable"‚ and it had been suggested that the way it was framed could allow compensation to be set at zero. "Could compensation be zero rand?" Hall asked. "We don’t know because it has never been used." In February‚ the EFF and the ANC supported a parlia...

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