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South Africa: Daytime Constitutional hearings not untoward

A delegation of the Joint Constitutional Review Committee, which is conducting public hearings into the desirability of amending section 25 of the Constitution to allow expropriation of land in the public interest without compensation, has reiterated that there is nothing untoward about holding hearings during the day.

Various suggestions and questions have been raised that the committee should have held the hearings in the evening, to enable workers to participate. It is the committee's considered view that no matter when the hearings were held, similar suggestions would have been made.

If we held the hearings at night, those that work night shift and those that use public transport to the hearings would have complained. We are well aware that it is nearly impossible to please everyone,rdquo; said Mr Vincent Smith, the Co-Chairperson of the committee.

It is also worth noting that contributions to this process have been made through both oral and written submissions. Considering the extended period for written submissions, the committee is comfortable that adequate opportunity was given to every South African to participate. Furthermore, this process is not a referendum that will be determined by views in the majority, but rather the content of the argument made,rdquo; Mr Smith emphasised.

The committee is thus far satisfied with the contributions made during the hearings.

Source: Republic of South Africa