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.
The Expropriation Bill was published on 21 December 2018, with a timeframe of 60 days for public comment. Its timing - when virtually the entire country was on holiday - and its compressed timeframe for comments, predictably arouse suspicion.
At face value, the Draft Bill seeks to amend the Expropriation Act of 1975, which is in contradiction of section 25 of the Constitution in respect of two key provisions. First, the Expropriation Act makes reference to “public purpose” only, while the Constitution references “public interest” and “public purpose”. Secondly, the Expropriation Act refers to “market value”, while the Constitution refers to “just and equitable” compensation. Market value is but one consideration in the determination of just and equitable compensation.
1. The FW de Klerk Foundation is a non-profit organisation whose mission it is to promote and preserve FW de Klerk’s presidential heritage by supporting the causes for which he worked during his Presidency. The Foundation promotes unity in diversity by working for cordial inter-community relations and national unity through the activities of the Centre for Unity in Diversity. The Foundation also supports and promotes the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Rule of Law through the activities of the Centre for Constitutional Rights.
2. Accordingly, the Foundation endeavours to contribute positively to the promotion and protection of our constitutional democracy. This includes the achievement of real and substantive equality and equitable access to land and other resources, with due regard for those rights concerning property and administrative action that is lawful, reasonable and procedurally fair, as provided for in the Constitution.
Everyone cautioned that Finance Minister Tito Titus Mboweni would not have a lot of leeway in presenting his Budget for the coming year in Parliament. He did not flash big numbers around, but he definitely made an impact. He quoted from the Old Testament no less than three times, almost as if he realised that he would need supernatural powers for the job at hand.
As with the President’s State of the Nation, it is not sufficient to look at the numbers and the allocations and the commitments. There are few surprises. If one, however, reads between the lines, a different picture emerges.
On 15 February 2019, the FW de Klerk Foundation made a written submission on the Prevention and Combatting of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill [B9-2018] (the Bill) to the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services. The Bill essentially provides for the offences of hate speech and hate crimes. A person found guilty on a first offence of hate speech in terms of the Bill might be looking at imprisonment of three years, and five years on a subsequent conviction.
The Foundation is not opposed to the statutory recognition of hate crimes, as there is a clear need to distinguish hate crimes from ordinary crimes so that proper data collection of these specific crimes can take place and it can be properly prosecuted. We are, however, highly concerned about the proposed statutory criminal offence of hate speech and we submitted that the current version - although an improved version of the 2016 version - is highly flawed and unconstitutional.
- The FW de Klerk Foundation (the Foundation) is a non-profit organisation dedicated to upholding the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (the Constitution). To this end, the Foundation seeks to promote the Constitution and the values, rights and principles enshrined in the Constitution; to monitor developments including legislation and policy that may affect the Constitution or those values, rights and principles; to inform people and organisations of their constitutional rights and to assist them in claiming their rights. The Foundation does so in the interest of everyone in South Africa.
Earlier this week, Jackson Mthembu, the ANC Chief Whip, announced that contrary to expectations, the government intends to amend section 25 of the Constitution before the May election.
He also indicated that the revised Expropriation Bill (published in December) will be considered by Parliament “very soon” and will be “passed without hesitation.”
All this comes on the heels of remarkable explanation of South Africa’s land reform plans that was given to participants in the recent Davos conference by Mr Masiphula Mbongwa - the Director-General for the War Against Poverty in the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform.
A large part of President Ramaphosa’s turn-around plans for the South African economy are to attract billions in foreign and local investment, which hopefully will create hundreds (if not millions) of jobs. One sometimes hears other politicians muttering about the “investment boycott” by South African businesses, which are sitting on “billions of rand” and “doing nothing with it”.
But do politicians and government officials know how business people think? Do they know how to break the so-called investment boycott? Here are some insights - call it “Investment 101” for politicians.
It is enticing to interpret President Cyril Ramaphosa’s SONA as just another election pitch to the electorate a few months before the general election, now to be held on 8 May. A closer look is, however, warranted, as there are some interesting elements that may indicate a different approach and a stronger emphasis on the need to correct what has gone wrong in the last nine years - call it a glimmer of a post-election Ramaphosa.