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ARTICLE: THE LAND QUESTION – BLACK UNITY AND NO COMPENSATION OR NON-RACIALISM AND CONSTITUTIONALISM?

landscape optIn his State of the Nation (SONA) appearance, President Zuma said “we had stated our intention of using the Expropriation Act, 1975 (Act 63 of 1975) to pursue land reform and land redistribution, in line with the Constitution” (my emphasis).

In debating this, the Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, Gugile Nkwinti, on 14 February, said that the Government will undertake a pre-colonial audit of land ownership and “(o)nce the audit has been completed, a single law should be developed to address the issue of land restitution without compensation. The necessary constitutional amendments should be undertaken to effect this process”.

At the launch of Operation Phakisa’s agriculture, land reform and rural development leg on 24 February, Zuma asked the following rhetorical (and nonsensical) question: “How are we going to achieve all the goals mentioned in the State of the Nation Address and all the laws and policies that we are busy amending to enable faster land reform, including land expropriation without compensation as provided for in the Constitution” (my emphasis). On 3 March, in his official opening of National House of Traditional Leaders, the President repeated the Nkwinti statement almost verbatim. Land reform “in line with the Constitution” has quickly become “land restitution without compensation”.

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ARTICLE: SASSA – MUDDLING THROUGH AS THE POOR WAIT

CONCOURT FOTER optThe last few days have witnessed a SASSA fiasco on an unprecedented scale. Outright lies, half-truths, resignation of key personnel and a fumbling, rumbling and grumbling Minister trying to save herself – and not the almost 17 million grant beneficiaries – was the order.

Wide media coverage delivering blow-by-blow accounts of the unfolding crisis has elicited outrage, yet President Zuma has the temerity to ask Ministers and their spokespersons to stop talking about social grants. In an interview from Jakarta, Indonesia, he said, “I think Ministers should stop talking, including their spokespersons. I think the point has been made. The less we talk, the better”. He added in response to public outrage and a call for Minister Bathabile Dlamini to be sacked that, “there are people speaking as if the date has come and passed and that the Department has failed and the Minister has failed. But the date has not come”. President Zuma, unlike the almost 17 million grant beneficiaries, is assured of where his next meal will come from. He is assured – as is evidenced by the State Capture Report – of wealth accumulated for himself and his family, but a key voting bloc remains in limbo.

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ARTICLE: THE ORIGINS, INTENTIONS AND CONSEQUENCES OF THE EXPROPRIATION BILL

parliament interior sabcThere should be no doubt about origins, intentions and consequences of the Expropriation Bill that President Zuma is about to sign into law.

The Bill has its origins deep in the ANC’s National Democratic Revolution (NDR) which calls for “the elimination of apartheid property relations”. This, according to the ANC, will require “the redistribution of wealth and income to benefit society as a whole, especially the poor” – and in particular “the deracialisation of ownership and control of wealth, including land…”   In 2007 the ANC stated that “the central task in the current period is the eradication of the socio-economic legacy of apartheid; and this will remain so for many years to come.” 

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ARTICLE: THE PROMOTION AND PROTECTION OF INVESTMENT BILL

DTI logoThe Department of Trade and Industry has just published the latest version of the Promotion and Protection of Investment Bill. The Bill has its origins in the government’s wish to reassure foreign investors who were alarmed by South Africa’s decision three years ago to terminate its Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) with a number of European countries. Its purpose is supposedly to provide for “the legislative protection of investors” and the “promotion of investment”.

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ARTICLE: 50/50 DOWN ON THE FARMS

minister-nkwinti-foterThe Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR) has just published its final policy proposals on land reform titled “Strengthening the Relative Rights of People Working the Land“.

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The FW de Klerk Foundation Annual Conference 2024

The FW de Klerk Foundation Annual Conference – hosted in conjunction with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation South Africa.