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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.

Taiwan fwdk

It is a great pleasure for me to address you today on the topic of South Africa’s transition to democracy.  This is now my ninth visit to Taiwan and with each visit I have admired the manner in which your country has progressively consolidated and deepened your own democratic system.

Our progress in South Africa was different. In our country the challenge was not so much a transition to democracy but an extension of democracy to all our people.

The country we today call South Africa was created by the British Empire only 108 years ago.  As was the case with many other African countries, the British drew borders on the map of the continent that arbitrarily included a great variety of peoples with different languages, cultures and levels of economic development.


I have learned with great sadness of the death of Pik Botha.

He was one of the leading personalities in South African politics from 1970 until his retirement from active politics in 1996. He served with great distinction as South Africa’s Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1977 until 1994 - and was one of the world’s longest-serving foreign ministers.  During this period, he resolutely defended South Africa against growing international isolation. 


The FW de Klerk Foundation welcomes the fact that President Ramaphosa, in the interest of good governance, accepted the resignation of Mr Nhlanhla Nene as Minister of Finance. As stated in a CFCR article yesterday, it was the right thing for Mr Nene to offer his resignation, and it was the right thing for the President to accept it. This presents the country with a rare case of accountability and ethical conduct at senior government level, especially in the last number of years. Too often, as in the case of SASSA and Life Esidimeni, politicians and senior officials shirked their responsibility and denied accountability - and in so doing, acted unethically. 

Tutu foter

The FW de Klerk Foundation and former President De Klerk would like to congratulate fellow Nobel Laureate, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Mpilo Tutu, on celebrating his 87th birthday tomorrow, Sunday 7 October. We rejoice in his life and achievements, and in the relative good health he has been enjoying. He has, throughout his life, fought for justice and reconciliation. He has consistently spoken out against injustices and wrong actions, irrespective of who the perpetrators were. In all of this, he has remained a humble servant of God, in service of his people. May you have a blessed day and a good year, Arch!

sa flag foter

The leaked 30-page document of the Thabo Mbeki Foundation (TMF) caused a storm on social media, within African National Congress (ANC) circles and other political and civic organisations. It is not difficult to understand why. In a time when President Cyril Ramaphosa supporters and the Zuma-ites are still at odds, the Foundation of a former ANC and country president takes a strong view against one of his party’s important recent decisions - expropriation without compensation (EWC). The TMF believes that EWC is possible without an amendment of Section 25, but the emphasis of the document is on the fact that the process is race-based. The key issue is that of how this recent ANC decision impacts the national question and scuppers attempts at building a non-racial society. It touches a nerve by stating that the ANC had departed from non-racialism by taking the decision on EWC and criticises Zuma directly because he effectively turned the ANC into a “black party”. The view of the TMF is that as a result of this, the ANC can no longer be seen as representative of all South Africans. Harsh words from loyal ANC supporters, in a difficult time for the party…

foter workers

In his SONA earlier this year, President Cyril Ramaphosa promised that a national Jobs Summit would be held this year. This is now planned for 4 to 5 October. All constituencies represented in Nedlac will be present. In his statement leading up to the conference, the President highlighted the need for “creating decent work and building an inclusive economy”. So far, so good. 

The critical premise for this Jobs Summit is the following. What can a Jobs Summit achieve in a time of deep recession when the economy is in a slump, when there is almost no economic policy certainty and when the cornerstone of the economy, property rights, is perceived to be under threat? Additionally, the presidential drive for international and national investment has been lukewarm at best. This despite Ramaphosa having lined up a dream team in April 2018 to sell SA Inc.

image 20160913 4948 um4tr9In a 30-page leaked document on land and the national question, titled What Then About Land Expropriation Without Compensation, the Thabo Mbeki Foundation (TMF) elucidates both historic context but crucially an analysis of a resolution of the ANC’s 54th National Conference in December 2017 on “land expropriation without compensation”. Without going into the settings of the document about the “glorious National Democratic Revolution” and its “victory of 1994”, the document presents some important perspectives about debates inside the ANC, especially about non-racialism and expropriation of land without compensation (EWC).

EWC opt

The decision of the Land Claims Court last week whereby Akkerland Boerdery once again took ownership of the two farms it originally consisted of, almost went unnoticed. The ministerial notice of expropriation of 29 March - which gave the owners seven days to vacate and leave the farms - was overturned with costs. Apparently the Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform (the infamous Maite Nkoana-Mashabane) admitted her Department made a mistake in issuing the notice of expropriation.

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