S. Africa parliament pass key vote for land reforms

South Africa’s parliament has voted by an overwhelming majority to adopt a report which recommends that the constitution be amended to pave the way for the expropriation of land without compensation. 

A total of 201 MPs backed the report, while 91 voted against it. There were no abstentions.

MPs from the ruling African National Congress (ANC) supported by opposition colleagues from the radical Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and other smaller parties, voted for the report,giving them a majority of 201 to 91. 

The main opposition Democratic Alliance was among the parties which opposed the adoption of the report. 

The vote means that parliament can start the process of making what is probably the most significant change to the constitution adopted after apartheid ended in 1994. 

The amendment might not go through before elections due in April, as it is a long and protracted process. 

The ANC said it is trying to right a colonial wrong.

White people, who make up just 9% of the population, own 72% of the farmland that is held by individuals, government figures show.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) said the process of changing the constitution was flawed, and it warned that it could challenge the decision in court. 

Mainly Afrikaner lobby group AfriForum said the ANC’s plan to seize land without compensation amounted to “theft”. 

The government’s Twitter account shared a video of MPs singing ahead of the vote:

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