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.
It is a pleasure to talk about South African history in a country with such a long and distinguished history - and at a school whose alumni have contributed so greatly to Britain and to the world.
It is, of course, impossible to understand the past 40 years in South Africa without understanding the preceding 400 years. Britain played a major role in the evolution of that history - as it did in the histories of so many countries throughout the world.
The British first occupied the Cape in 1795 and then annexed it in 1806.
The Centre for Development and Enterprise (CDE) issued a report on 28 August entitled “Running out of Road: South Africa's public finances and what is to be done”. They conclude that if South Africa does not overcome its fiscal crisis, there will be no accelerated economic growth. However, the opposite is also true: if we don’t start growing the economy, we will not be able to cope with the fiscal crisis. South Africa needs an uncompromising growth strategy, which must be applied strictly. CDE Chief Ann Bernstein warns that Government and the ruling party do not seem to fully realise how profound the changes are that are needed and how much leadership it will take from the President to get it right.
There is nothing wrong with first world national health schemes if you are a first world country. Unfortunately, South Africa is not a first world country and simply does not have the resources or manpower to achieve the ambitious objectives of the ANC’s proposed National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme.
As it stands, the NHI has the potential to cause more havoc than even the dire prospect of expropriation without compensation. If it is implemented as envisaged it will have a direct impact on the lived experience of South Africa’s multi-racial middle class, millions of South Africans who already bear a heavy tax burden. If parents with sick children have to wait for weeks for medical appointments - and for yet more weeks to see specialists - their frustration and anger will dominate their lives. And to make things worse, the NHI will not make any difference to the presently crippled and defunct public health system.
The relentless saga surrounding the CR17 presidential campaign's funding is still in full swing. For ordinary South Africans, it is clear that the Public Protector (PP) has it in for President Ramaphosa and some of his supporters, especially Pravin Gordhan and Derek Hanekom. And the leaked information about the donors and recipients of some of these funds raises quite a few questions.
The FW de Klerk Foundation has taken note of today’s decision of the Equality Court in Johannesburg to declare that the “gratuitous display” of the old South African flag, constitutes “hate speech.”
The raising of our new flag over the Union Buildings was one of the proudest moments of South Africa’s long and troubled history. It became a symbol of national unity, reconciliation and the values in our new constitution. Under such circumstances, the FW de Klerk Foundation and the great majority of white South Africans have long accepted - and continue to accept - that it would be insensitive and inappropriate to fly the old flag - particularly because of the painful memories that it symbolises for many South Africans.
The report of the Presidential Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture was presented to President Ramaphosa on 4 May 2019 and made available to the public in July. Even before this date, two panelists - Dan Kriek (president of AgriSA) and Nick Serfontein (well-known farmer) - decided to hand over a minority report to the President. It was made available to the public after the main report.
What are the key differences between the main report and the minority report? Why did these two respected panelists find it necessary to draft a minority report? The differences can be summarised in three groups: process issues, style and ideological issues and substantive issues.
During her recent budget speech, the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, referred to President Ramaphosa's target in his State of the Nation address that every learner should be able to read with comprehension by the age of ten. She notes that the language issue is a key factor affecting reading ability and literacy, and then refers to the importance of African languages as teaching and reading languages. However, the phrase “mother tongue education” was not mentioned in her speech.
The Final Report of the Presidential Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture, which was released to the public on 28 July, is already causing uncertainty and concern over the future of agriculture and property rights in South Africa. Two of the Panel’s 10 members, Dan Kriek, the President of Agri SA, and Nick Serfontein, a commercial farmer, have issued a minority report rejecting many of the Panel’s main recommendations.
The Panel was appointed by President Ramaphosa in September 2018 to “provide a unified policy perspective on land reform in respect of land restitution, land redistribution and land tenure reform”. It was also asked to report on the circumstances in which expropriation without compensation (EWC) should be applied and the procedures and institutions that should be involved in its implementation.