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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.


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.


The Challenge of Economic Growth in South Africa: Structural Transformation and Job Creation


  • A Long-Run Growth Trap in South Africa

    • Economic Growth and Structural Transformation

  • The Advent of Deindustrialisation: Global and South African


  • Manufacturing and Low-Wage Employment: A Viable Growth Strategy?

  • Whither Economic Growth: Building Economic Complexity

  • Looking to the Future:
    • The Fourth Industrial Revolution• South Africa’s Labour Force


Addressing economic equality with pragmatism

Radical land reform - shortcut to poverty

Likely results of constitutional amendment for radical land reform:

Protection of property rights in SA is diminished

Heightened policy uncertainty

Decline in the prices of land & related assets

Negative impact on balance sheets of banks and their ability to provide loans


Reducing Inequality in the schooling system

Outline of the Presentation

• The size and shape of the schooling system
• Progress in addressing inequalities in the schooling system
• Four suggestions for reducing inequality at no or little additional cost

20FWdeKlerk Eng

I would like to welcome you to this - the FW de Klerk Foundation’s - 10th annual conference.  We instituted the conferences in 2010 to mark the 20th anniversary of the commencement of our great national transformation process. 

In June this year the Foundation will be celebrating its 20thbirthday:  for 20 years we have been doing everything we can to uphold and promote the Constitution that is the foundation of our new society - and that remains the best hope for peace, progress and justice for all South Africans.

I welcome this opportunity - on the eve of the 25th anniversary of our new non-racial constitutional democracy - to join in a discussion on one of the most important challenges facing our country: the need to achieve equality.

The achievement of equality was one of the prime goals that we set for our new society when we adopted our present Constitution in 1996. Together with human dignity, the advancement of human rights and freedoms, non-racism and non-sexism it was one of the core founding values on which our new constitutional dispensation was constructed.

Henning Suhr 2019

Dear Mr President, FW De Klerk,

Dear Mr Steward,

Distinguished panelists, Dr Botha and Prof Bhorat,

Dear Members of Parliament, the diplomatic corps, representatives from state institutions and from civil-society,

Dear Theuns Eloff and all the great staff members of the FW de Klerk Foundation,

Ladies and Gentlemen, dear friends

conference 2018

The FW de Klerk Foundation will dedicate its 2019 Annual Conference on Friday, 1 February, to one of the most critical challenges confronting the nation, inequality. Election years, with their promises and platitudes, have not addressed this grave issue. The Foundation will reflect on this matter but also go further and ask the vital question, “What is to be done?” 

Inequality in South Africa is stubbornly high and has over the last 24 years grown increasingly persistent. A 2018 World Bank report aptly sums up the triple challenge confronting the country including, “high poverty, high inequality and high unemployment”. While there is no quick fix to these challenges, the fact of the matter is that if we as a country do not address this deep-rooted problem effectively, we will not be a peaceful, prosperous and harmonious society. In addition, striving for equality is one of the basic mandates of our Constitution.


The University of Pretoria (UP) successfully won a court challenge against its “English only” language policy in December 2016. Since then, it prepared the way for this policy to be implemented. Last week, the UP found it necessary to announce that from this year, all first-year students will only be taught in English. This is not new, as the decision was already taken almost three years ago. 

Nevertheless, the statement by the UP warrants analysis and commentary, for three significant reasons.  Firstly, the media statement made by the UP’s spokesperson, Rikus Delport; secondly the comments by the newly-appointed Vice-Chancellor, Prof Tawana Kupe; and thirdly the tweet on the issue by the Minister of Finance, Tito Mboweni (being a former Chancellor of the former University of the North-West in Mafikeng).

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