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 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.
It's already old news that former President Zuma appeared before the Zondo Commission last week. He seemed to be suffering from severe amnesia, or have no opinion about most matters.
But in addition to this news, there is another question that most right-thinking and concerned South Africans are wrestling with, and which commentators reflect upon daily. Is President Ramaphosa winning the battle to turn the country around? Is he winning his battle to reform the country, and especially the State, to save it from the clutches of the Zuptas, to help the economy recover, and to set the country on a steady course?
This year the staff of the FW de Klerk Foundation and its Centre for Constitutional Rights (CFCR) again join the rest of the world in celebrating the life and legacy of former President Nelson Mandela.
The Foundation shares Madiba’s vision to spread social justice and freedom for all, and welcomes the opportunity be part of a Mandela Day - now in its 10th year.
Echoing the new Mandela Day strategy’s primary focus on collaborative partnerships, the FW de Klerk Foundation partners with several worthy organisations through its long-running Support for Charities Programme. These organisations include Autism Western Cape, Friends of Vista Nova, Innovation for the Blind, Iris House Children’s Hospice, the National Institute for the Deaf (NID), Salesian Life Choices and the Woodside Special Care Centre. All are committed to making a daily difference in the lives of persons with disabilities, and underprivileged youth. Thanks to the generosity of its funding partners, the Nedbank South African Charity Golf Day and the Maurice Hatter Foundation, the FW de Klerk Foundation is able to contribute to positive change in the lives of hundreds of South Africans.
On 11 July President Cyril Ramaphosa approved the deployment of South African National Defence Force (SANDF) units to help the South African Police Service (SAPS) combat unacceptable levels of violence in the Cape Flats. The question is whether this action is appropriate and whether it will be effective.
There can be no doubt regarding the seriousness of the situation: 2 302 people were murdered in Cape Town during the first six months of 2019. This represents a murder rate of more than 100/100 000 - compared with 33/100 000 for South Africa and 6/100 000 for the world. This gives Cape Town one of the highest murder rates in the world.
This already deplorable situation was further exacerbated over the weekend of 5 and 6 July 2019, when 13 people were violently killed in the township of Philippi East, located in Cape Town’s notorious gang-ridden Cape Flats. Of those killed, six were women who were gunned down brutally at a residence in the Marcus Garvey area. Another three young people, between the ages of 17 and 25, were shot dead at a friend’s home. Following the spate of deaths, residents from Philippi East, most of them women, marched to the neighbourhood’s police station to demand more effective police action.
There were two eye-catching issues in the media this past week.
South Africa’s largest chicken producer, Astral, announced that its chicken plant in Standerton no longer receives sufficient water from the local Lekwa Municipality (Standerton). This plant is the largest on the continent and slaughters two million chickens weekly. In addition, Astral’s feed mill in Standerton is also the largest on the continent - one that was recently built at significant cost, following written assurances by the Municipality that sufficient water and electricity would be available. The reason for the lack of water supply to the largest employer in town? Ongoing poor maintenance of water infrastructure - pumps and pipe ducts - needed to pump water from the Vaal River 8 km away.
The Gauteng MEC for Education, Andrek Panyaza Lesufi, is an interesting man. A large part of the mainly black population think the world of him. He is a MEC who is “hands-on”, and is seen and heard wherever there is trouble in the Gauteng school system. He is regularly in the media and holds a press conference once a week - usually on a Sunday afternoon at his home. He was even mentioned as a possible successor to the current Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga. Another part of mostly the white (and Afrikaans) population is of the opinion that he is waging war on Afrikaans as a language of instruction in schools - and in addition to that, harbours anti-white sentiments.