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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.

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The phenomenon of load-shedding is hanging over the festive season of 2018 like a dark cloud. For many, across the country, their festivities might happen by candlelight, which may add to the ambience but will predictably cast a shadow over any possible and much-needed economic recovery. 

Naive South Africans believed that with a new President and a new Minister of Public Enterprises, plus a new Eskom Board, Eskom should be functioning optimally, and load-shedding was something of the past and would be over. The fact is that corruption and mismanagement cast a long shadow and cannot be turned around quickly. Additionally, incapable, inexperienced and corrupt officials (evidenced by the design faults at Medupi and Kusile) can’t be fired at will without the requisite due process, which is a supreme irony, considering the damage that they have caused. It is therefore important to state that the present load-shedding - with feeble excuses from Eskom about lack of capacity and needed maintenance, and uranium left out to get wet - is a bad hangover from the Zupta era. So is the fact that Eskom is in deep financial crisis and continuously dependent on State bail-outs.

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The FW de Klerk Foundation welcomes the announcement by President Ramaphosa of Advocate Shamila Batohi as the new National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP). Advocate Batohi is well qualified and experienced to fulfil this significant role. This, at a time when the country is at a critical crossroads and the justice system cries out for an independent and fair-minded individual to fulfil the mandate of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). In line with section 179 of the Constitution, we trust that she will pursue her mandate without “fear, favour or prejudice”. Advocate Batohi has experience as a former Director of Public Prosecutions in KwaZulu-Natal and has gained international exposure in her role as the Senior Legal Advisor to the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC). This latter experience we believe will be important, as it gives her the necessary distance and objectivity from matters facing prosecution.

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2018 is almost over. December is a time for many South Africans to wrap things up and conclude business, to take some time off and to rest. But it is also a time of taking stock of the year and what was achieved - and to start thinking about what 2019 holds.

Call it a combination of wishes for Christmas presents and New Year’s resolutions, but if there are say, only five things that can be chosen, I would choose the following five for the country. It could be the recipe for success for South Africa in 2019.

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It’s not unusual to hear people say “Cyril is not moving fast enough to fight and end State capture and corruption”. He should have sent so and so “to jail long ago…”

But is it that simple? And what is really happening?

One can accept President Ramaphosa’s bona fides that corruption and State capture must be stopped. He was and is on record that he is serious about it. His own actions and those of his close allies (such as Pravin Gordhan with the lifestyle audits for SOEs), testify to this.

A senior business leader recently shared with me while we were on a plane that the President estimates that there are 700 key posts in the public service occupied by Zuma confidants. So far this year, 150 better people have already been appointed, but the number that remain is still massive.

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The FW de Klerk Foundation has noted with deep concern the majority decision of the Constitutional Review Committee yesterday to recommend to Parliament the amendment of section 25 of the Constitution. 

The decision to amend the Constitution “to make explicit that which is implicit… Expropriation of land without Compensation as a legitimate option for Land Reform” is both substantively and procedurally wrong.  It is clear that the outcome of the so-called democratic process was decided before the process began. The majority of the Committee did not take into account at all the very sensible and correct arguments of those who are opposed to expropriation without compensation (EWC), but rather followed an ideological and party-political line. The majority of the Committee has pushed the recommendation through, and in doing so has counted views rather than weighing them. This will cost the country dearly.

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Friday, November 16, will mark exactly nine months since President Ramaphosa delivered his maiden speech in Parliament. Amid non-stop news, it is perhaps good to take a quiet moment and to evaluate how the “new dawn” looks after nine months (and it was perhaps just as exhausting as a difficult pregnancy!).

On 16 February, the new President made a number of commitments to the representatives of South Africa's people (and thereby to all of us). Some of these were commitments that were already in the works under former Cabinet members, and others were clearly his own. In many cases, he placed his own stamp on these commitments.

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The FW de Klerk Foundation welcomes the decision by Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba, to resign with immediate effect (as we have argued on 2 November). Amid mounting charges of having lied under oath, violating the Constitution and being found to be in contravention of the Executive Members’ Ethics Act by the Public Protector, Minister Gigaba leaves Cabinet under a very dark cloud.

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The FW de Klerk Foundation is delighted to announce that former President FW de Klerk was discharged from Panorama Mediclinic in Cape Town this afternoon, following a successful procedure on Saturday to treat pneumothorax. 

Mr and Mrs De Klerk, as well as the Foundation, would like to express their sincere thanks for all the good wishes and messages of support they have received over the past few days.

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