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.
On 29 November 2019, the FW de Klerk Foundation (the Foundation) made a written submission on the National Health Insurance Bill [B11-2019] (NHI Bill) to the Portfolio Committee on Health. The NHI Bill envisions the establishment of the NHI Fund - a health financing system serving as the “single purchaser and payer of health care services”, - to effectively achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and give effect to the State’s constitutional duty to provide access to healthcare services.
The Foundation unequivocally supports the pursuit of UHC - characterised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as providing all people with access to health services of sufficient quality, without financial hardship. The Foundation, however, does not believe that the proposed NHI is the only means to achieve this noble goal for South Africa.
The FW de Klerk Foundation (the Foundation) is a non-profit organisation dedicated to upholding the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (the Constitution). To this end, the Foundation’s Centre for Constitutional Rights (the CFCR) seeks to promote the Constitution and the values, rights and principles enshrined in the Constitution; to monitor developments, including legislation and policy that may affect the Constitution or those values, rights and principles; to inform people and organisations of their constitutional rights and to assist them in claiming their rights. The Foundation does so in the interest of everyone in South Africa.
Accordingly, the Foundation endeavours to contribute positively to the promotion and protection of our constitutional democracy. As such, the Foundation welcomes the opportunity to make a concise submission - per the invitation by the Portfolio Committee on Health (the Committee) - on the proposed NHI Bill.
Dear Friends and fellow Pukke
It is a great honour for me to address such an important and interesting conference at my old Alma Mater. The theme of the conference is as daunting as it is interesting - dealing as it does with ‘Reformation theology and its impact on world societies after 500 years’. I must point out at the outset that I am a lawyer and not a theologian - so offer the following comments with some trepidation.
The dust has settled a bit regarding the Constitutional Court's ruling in the Gelyke Kanse (GK) case on Stellenbosch University's (SU) Language Policy (read the full analysis of the case here). The implications of this ruling are relevant for SU and the Potchefstroom Campus of the North-West University (NWU Potch); and perhaps most importantly of all, for Afrikaans as a language of instruction in public schools.
The Ad Hoc Committee to Initiate and Introduce Legislation Amending Section 25 of the Constitution convened a “constitutional dialogue” in Cape Town on 6 November 2019 to which it invited members of the public and civil society organisations - including the FW de Klerk Foundation’s Centre for Constitutional Rights (CFCR).
The Ad Hoc Committee was appointed by Parliament following a resolution by the National Assembly on 6 December 2018, “to initiate and introduce legislation amending section 25 of the Constitution”. The Ad Hoc Committee was tasked with making “explicit that which is implicit in the Constitution” regarding expropriation without compensation (EWC) and was required to finalise its work by 31 March 2020.
On October 10, 2019, the Constitutional Court ruled in the case in which Gelyke Kanse (GK) asked that the 2016 Language Policy of the University of Stellenbosch (SU) be set aside because it is unconstitutional. GK's application was essentially an appeal against the Western Cape High Court's earlier ruling, and a request to bypass the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) and approach the Constitutional Court directly. This was allowed.
The overall verdict - with which all 10 judges agreed - was written by Judge Edwin Cameron (who was recently appointed new Chancellor of the SU). There are also two additional rulings, one by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng and the other by Judge Johan Froneman, which provide additional perspectives.
In 1989 the American Academic, Francis Fukuyama, proclaimed that the “end of history” had arrived:
“What we may be witnessing is not just the end of the Cold War, or the passing of a particular period of post war history, but the end of history as such: that is, the point of mankind's ideological evolution and the universalisation of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.”
That was quite a claim.
There are few issues that are discussed as often as the success (or not) of President Cyril Ramaphosa - even during Rugby World Cup time. Everyone (except the Zuptas and EFF) wants him to succeed and believes that he will succeed. But doubts erode this trust every time something negative happens in the country: whether it’s yet another SOE demanding a lifeline, or the case of a student raped and murdered by a public servant. And the recurring refrain is that if Cyril does not succeed soon, there will be no economy or country left to save. William Saunderson-Meyer recently posed the question: can he be referred to as Cyril the Tiger, or is he merely Puss in Boots?