The FW de Klerk Foundation writes regular articles on topical issues, supports language and cultural rights and participates in the national debate on racial and cultural issues. The Foundation also promotes communication by holding conferences and workshops.
SUBMISSION ON THE REVIEW OF SECTION 25 OF THE CONSTITUTION
- The FW de Klerk Foundation was established in 1999 to protect and promote the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, as the most important legacy of its founder, former President FW de Klerk.
- On 15 March 2018, the Foundation issued a statement setting out its position on expropriation without compensation (EWC) and the amendment of section 25 of the Constitution. For ease of reference, we attach it as Annexure A.
- The Foundation welcomes this opportunity to comment on the motion adopted by the National Assembly on 27 February 2018 relating to land reform.
- The Constitutional Review Committee was tasked with reviewing “Section 25 of the Constitution and other sections where necessary to make it possible for the State to expropriate land in the public interest without compensation.”
SPEECH: MANAGING TRANSFORMATION - THE KEY TO SUCCESS IN THE 21ST CENTURY
It is a great pleasure for me to be able to address this conference on the topic of transformation management.
You executives in the energy sector have to wrestle constantly with the challenges presented by the rapidly changing environment in which you operate.
I was also in the transformation business - but in my case it was a country that we had to transform. I would like to share some of the lessons we learned during the historic change process that we South Africans experienced between 1990 and 1996.
This is because our ability to manage change is the key to success today for individuals, for companies and for countries. It will also determine the success of everyone at this conference.
ARTICLE: LAND AND PROPERTY OWNERSHIP: WE CAN’T REFORM WHAT WE DON’T KNOW
As the deadline looms for submissions on section 25 of the Constitution, it is increasingly clear that there is little information on that most critical of matters: who owns what land in South Africa. It is becoming ever more evident that in the absence of a credible baseline that is evidence-based, assumptions, counter-assumptions and narratives crafted based on incomplete information will prevail.
The Parliamentary motion on section 25 stated “that black people own less than 2% of rural land, and less than 7% of urban land”. This claim was subsequently reiterated by President Ramaphosa. The claim is based on the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR) Land Audit (Government Audit) that was published at the end of 2017. The math however, was highly problematic. The findings are that of the 3.2 million hectares of urban land, 722 667 hectares are individually owned. Of this total, whites own 49.5%, Africans 30.3%, coloureds 7.7%, Indians 2%, co-owners 2% and others 5%. The EFF refashioned the statistics by subdividing the number of hectares held individually by Africans into the grand total of all urban land (3.2 million hectares) and came to 7%. But by this same calculation, whites would own “only 11%” of urban land. On rural land, the Government Audit uses statistics from the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) to point out that communal land (the old homeland areas) consists of 16 million hectares, and that individual land ownership of farms and agricultural holdings stand at 3.5%. It is clear that the above statement - that black rural land ownership amounts to 2% - is a blatant lie.
STATEMENT: ENOUGH OF THE EFF’S RACISM
The FW de Klerk Foundation condemns the vitriolic attack by EFF Deputy President, Floyd Shivambu, on Ismail Momoniat at a meeting of the Standing Committee on Finance on 5 June 2018. This indicates yet again the abuse of parliamentary privilege and more significantly, the rabid race politics of the EFF.
Shivambu objected to the presence of Treasury Deputy Director-General Ismail Momoniat at the meeting. He asked why Director-General Dondo Mogajane did not appear and concluded that this undermined African ‘representativeness’. He went so far as to say that Momoniat’s presence undermined African leadership. An EFF statement reasserted Shivambu’s comments, “Momoniat has no regard for black, particularly African leadership in National Treasury and this includes his disrespect of Director-General and African Ministers and Deputy Ministers. To him, leadership that deserves respect is only those of Indian, Coloured or White origin. In virtually everything that National Treasury does, Momoniat dictates.”
ARTICLE: SOUTH AFRICA URGENTLY NEEDS A “MARSHALL PLAN” FOR ITS IMPLODING MUNICIPALITIES
The Auditor-General (AG) Kimi Makwetu and the Minister of Cooperative Governance, Zweli Mkhize, recently stated things are worsening with the finances (and by implication therefore with service delivery) at municipalities. The shocking figures in this regard are already well known: irregular expenditure increased to R28.3 billion (from R 16.2 billion in 2015/2016) nationwide - an increase of 75%. In addition, 128 of the 257 the municipalities across the country are experiencing serious financial difficulties, and only 13% (33) received clean audits. Eskom has announced that municipalities now have more than R14 billion worth of outstanding debt for unpaid electricity bills alone.
By government’s own admission, it is no longer necessary to continue embellishing the state of affairs. It is enough to make one ill, literally in the case of millions of South Africans who are on the receiving end of dismal municipal service, if at all. The question staring us in the face is: how can this crisis be solved? How can we get back to a place where municipalities put the people they are supposed to serve first? To answer this question, one first needs to examine the causes of this state of affairs.
STATEMENT: FOUNDATION WELCOMES PASSING OF PUBLIC AUDIT AMENDMENT BILL
The FW de Klerk Foundation welcomes the passing of the Public Audit Amendment Bill (the Bill) by the National Assembly on 29 May 2018. The Bill gives the Office of the Auditor-General (AG) more powers to effectively address maladministration.The Bill will empower the AG to refer adverse findings in its reports to investigative bodies at all levels of government, as well as state-owned entities.
The specific amendments will permit the Office of the AG to refer gross irregularities to authorities, including the National Prosecuting Authority, as well as the Public Protector, to recover funds lost due to non-adherence to the Public Finance Management Act, from accounting officers. This includes fraud, theft or any breaches of fiduciary duty where significant harm to the general public or a public entity occurs.
ARTICLE: WHAT WENT WRONG WITH LAND REFORM OVER THE PAST 24 YEARS?
There is a common view among some South Africans that after 24 years of democracy, less than 10% of the land in South Africa belongs to the majority of the population. Someone began to circulate the narrative that the biggest issue relating to the slow pace of land reform is the ‘willing seller, willing buyer’ principle - and that this is prescribed by the Constitution (which is untrue). Together with this, the second biggest obstacle is described as the “equitable compensation” for land, which is prescribed in section 25 of the Constitution. That’s where the call for expropriation without compensation (EWC) originated and gained momentum. Change section 25 of the Constitution, return land without any compensation and the “original sin” will simply vanish in a flash!
What really went wrong? Who should get the blame? Is it the property owners who resolutely cling to their (for some, stolen) land? Is it the estate agents and brokers? Section 25(5) requires that the State “must take reasonable legislative and other measures, within its available resources, to foster conditions which enable citizens to gain access to land on an equitable basis”. Furthermore, 25(8) states: “No provision of this section may impede the State from taking legislative and other measures to achieve land, water and related reform, in order to correct the results of past racial discrimination”. So land reform is, according to the Constitution, the responsibility of the State.
STATEMENT: WE HAVE LOST A GREAT SOUTH AFRICAN
The FW de Klerk Foundation has with sadness taken note of the news that former business leader and Cabinet member, Derek Keys, has passed away. Having played an outstanding role in our transition to democracy, he served in both the Cabinets of former President FW de Klerk and President Nelson Mandela. In his response to the death of Mr Keys, former President De Klerk said: “He was a remarkable man who served South Africa in an exemplary manner. He deserves special respect regarding his work during the Constitutional negotiations. We have lost a great South African.”
Mr Keys, a respected business leader in his own right and at the time Chairman of the mining house Gencor, became Minister of Finance in 1992 and served until September 1994, the latter part in the first Cabinet of the new South Africa. After his political career, he continued to serve on the boards of several companies.