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Land and Property

The FW de Klerk Foundation, and its Centres for Constitutional Rights (CFCR) and Unity in Diversity (CUD) decided to make property and land a focus for 2017 and 2018 - in addition to a number of other constitutional issues. All articles, statements, submissions to Parliamentary Portfolio Committees and other materials related to Land and Property will be made available here...

pARLY CUD

ARTICLE: USE THE POWERS YOU POSSESS

The Joint Constitutional Review Committee was set up in the aftermath of the 27 February 2018 resolution in the National Assembly on expropriation without compensation (EWC). It was tasked with nationwide consultations on whether section 25 of the Constitution was adequate in its current form to effect EWC, or if a constitutional amendment was necessary. The Joint Committee has to date embarked on its programme of eliciting written and oral submissions, a process that culminated in oral presentations in Parliament from 4 to 7 September 2017.

Read FULL TEXT of article.


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ARTICLE: CYRIL RAMAPHOSA ON LAND - TURN-AROUND OR SPIN-AROUND?

The last week’s developments on the land and expropriation without compensation (EWC) debate were, to say the least, interesting. Firstly, there was the “toenadering” between the ANC and South African agriculture (Agri SA and Agbiz), and then we heard President Ramaphosa answer questions in Parliament on the subject. In comparison to last week, some farmers and business people are breathing much easier today. From “we will give our people the land back that was stolen from them, without compensation to the thieves” a mere few months ago, to “we will never expropriate productive agricultural land” last week, is quite a jump. 

Read FULL TEXT of article.


SECTION25

ARTICLE: WHAT ARE THE ANC’S OPTIONS FOR CHANGING SECTION 25?

Now that we know the ANC will support an amendment of section 25 to enable expropriation without compensation (EWC), the question is, what potential changes can be proposed? There are views that together, the ANC and the EFF will get a comfortable two-thirds majority, and be able to change section 25 “as they like”. There are others who believe that any change to section 25 will require not only a two-thirds majority but because property rights are so central to economic prosperity and the achievement of other individual rights such as dignity, any change to section 25 will require a 75% majority. Where lies the truth?

Read FULL TEXT of article.


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ARTICLE: DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE OF EWC

President Ramaphosa’s late night statement of 31 July is now well-read and known. It has been criticised, lauded and discussed in detail. The issue of why the statement was delivered at that time, and whether there was a good reason to do it, despite the Parliamentary review process being ongoing, lies in the realm of political commentary. As a Foundation with a mission of protecting and promoting the Constitution, we must take the statement and its intention on face value and point out what its consequences are and could be.

Read FULL TEXT of article.


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STATEMENT: ANC PRESIDENT RAMAPHOSA’S LATE NIGHT ANNOUNCEMENT - IS THIS THE RIGHT WAY TO GO ABOUT SOMETHING SO IMPORTANT?

The FW de Klerk Foundation noted with grave concern the statement on expropriation without compensation (EWC), by ANC president Ramaphosa after the NEC Lekgotla last night. There are two main problems with the statement, procedurally and substantively. Speaking as leader of a political party, he abused the platform of the national broadcaster to make a party-political announcement, as if it were an announcement as President of the country.

Read FULL TEXT of article.


farm

ARTICLE: LET’S PRIVATISE THE LAND AUDIT

During the current Constitutional Review Committee hearings one frequently heard: “We want the land back that the whites took from us”. But who took the land and who owns it now, is not so clear. It has often been stated that without a proper and credible land audit, we cannot have a sober and balanced debate on land, and “that” land cannot be subject to land reform or redistribution.

Read FULL TEXT of article.


FWDK2 4 JULY

ARTICLE: THE CENTRALITY OF PROPERTY RIGHTS FOR THE ECONOMY, FOR AGRICULTURE AND FOR THE NATIONAL ACCORD

On 4 July 2018 FW de Klerk spoke at a conference that his Foundation had convened in Johannesburg to discuss property rights for all South Africans and the role that land reform can play in expanding property rights. De Klerk said that the ANC’s decision to proceed with expropriation without compensation (EWC) posed a fundamental threat to investment, economic growth, agriculture, food security and to the national accord on which our new nonracial democracy was founded.

Read FULL TEXT of article.


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REFLECTIONS ON FW DE KLERK FOUNDATION CONFERENCE ON PROPERTY RIGHTS AND LAND REFORM HELD ON 4 JULY 2018 IN JOHANNESBURG

The FW de Klerk Foundation, in line with its annual theme of Land Reform and Property Rights, held a conference in Johannesburg yesterday, with the overall theme of “Property Rights for All South Africans - and the Role that Land Reform can Play in Expanding Property Rights”. As the theme indicates, the Foundation believes that the two aspects of section 25 of the Constitution must both receive urgent attention. 

Read FULL TEXT of article.


ELOFF 4 JULY

SPEECH AT THE FW DE KLERK FOUNDATION CONFERENCE ON PROPERTY RIGHTS AND LAND REFORM

Thank you Mr Suhr, for your introduction and the perspective of KAS on our important conference. Former President De Klerk has set the scene further by his astute analysis and comments about the possible change of section 25 of the Constitution. My task is to take that further and proverbially lay the table for our conference, its speakers and its audience. I will do this by, firstly, reiterating the position of the Foundation on property rights and land reform, and secondly, by pointing to three conditions for constitutional land reform and extending property rights to all South Africans.

Read FULL TEXTof speech by Executive Director, Dr Theuns Eloff. 


FWDK 4 JULY 2018

SPEECH: THE CENTRALITY OF PROPERTY RIGHTS FOR THE ECONOMY, FOR AGRICULTURE AND FOR THE NATIONAL ACCORD

We have convened this Conference at a critical time in the history of our young democracy. The ANC and Parliament have adopted resolutions calling for expropriation without compensation (EWC).  By so doing they have posed a fundamental threat to investment, economic growth, agriculture, food security and to the national accord on which our new nonracial democracy was founded.

Read FULL TEXTof speech by former President FW de Klerk. 


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STATEMENT ON SUBMISSION TO CONSTITUTIONAL REVIEW COMMITTEE ON POSSIBLE AMENDMENT TO SECTION 25 OF CONSTITUTION TO ALLOW EXPROPRIATION WITHOUT COMPENSATION

The FW de Klerk Foundation, like thousands of other organisations and individual South Africans, submitted its views on the amendment to section 25 of the Constitution to allow expropriation without compensation (EWC) to the parliamentary Constitutional Review Committee. The Foundation regards this question as being of central importance to the future of South Africa - not only with regard to the essential requirement for a successful process of land reform, but also for the future of property rights and hence the future prospects for the economy, as well as for the future of race relations in South Africa. 

Read FULL TEXTof statement. 


SECTION25SUBMISSION ON THE REVIEW OF SECTION 25 OF THE CONSTITUTION

  1. The FW de Klerk Foundation was established in 1999 to protect and promote the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, as the most important legacy of its founder, former President FW de Klerk. 
  2. On 15 March 2018, the Foundation issued a statement setting out its position on expropriation without compensation (EWC) and the amendment of section 25 of the Constitution. For ease of reference, we attach it as Annexure A. 
  3. The Foundation welcomes this opportunity to comment on the motion adopted by the National Assembly on 27 February 2018 relating to land reform.

Read FULL TEXTof submission. 


landscape optARTICLE: LAND AND PROPERTY OWNERSHIP: WE CAN’T REFORM WHAT WE DON’T KNOW

As the deadline looms for submissions on section 25 of the Constitution, it is increasingly clear that there is little information on that most critical of matters: who owns what land in South Africa. It is becoming ever more evident that in the absence of a credible baseline that is evidence-based, assumptions, counter-assumptions and narratives crafted based on incomplete information will prevail. The Parliamentary motion on section 25 stated “that black people own less than 2% of rural land, and less than 7% of urban land”. This claim was subsequently reiterated by President Ramaphosa.

Read FULL TEXTof article. 


section 25ARTICLE: WHAT WENT WRONG WITH LAND REFORM OVER THE PAST 24 YEARS?

There is a common view among some South Africans that after 24 years of democracy, less than 10% of the land in South Africa belongs to the majority of the population. Someone began to circulate the narrative that the biggest issue relating to the slow pace of land reform is the ‘willing seller, willing buyer’ principle - and that this is prescribed by the Constitution (which is untrue). Together with this, the second biggest obstacle is described as the “equitable compensation” for land, which is prescribed in section 25 of the Constitution.

Read FULL TEXTof article. 


FARM SPADE optARTICLE: THE ANC’S DILEMMA WITH LAND REFORM AND EXPROPRIATION WITHOUT COMPENSATION (EWC)

A first national dialogue on land reform took place at the end of March in Johannesburg at the request of the ANC members of the Parliamentary Review Committee. This was ostensibly an attempt by the Ramaphosa faction within the ANC to wrest ownership of the process from the EFF (and Zuma supporters), who had of late been setting the pace in the debate. The pronouncements of ANC officials at the dialogue brought some interesting and important issues to light. 

Read FULL TEXTof article. 


dws2016ARTICLE: EXPROPRIATION WITHOUT COMPENSATION

What is ‘expropriation without compensation’ (EWC), where does it come from - and what are its implications?  To start with, EWC makes no sense. 

  • Property rights are an indispensable requirement for all successful economies and for all genuine democracies.
  • Despite the ANC’s qualifications of EWC, any dilution of property rights would inevitably have a negative impact on agricultural stability, food security, investment and economic growth.

Read FULL TEXTof article. 


SECTION25ARTICLE: IMPRESSIONS OF THE (FIRST) DIALOGUE ON PROPERTY, LAND REFORM AND SECTION 25

The National Forum for Dialogue on Land Reform, held at the at the end of March in Johannesburg, was the first of many public dialogues on the land question, more specifically whether section 25 of the Constitution should be amended to enable expropriation without compensation (EWC). The Dialogue was organised - at the request of the (ANC members of the) Constitutional Review Committee - by the Gordon Institute for Business Science (GIBS), Roelf Meyer’s In Transformation Initiative and the Nelson Mandela University.

Read FULL TEXTof article. 


section 25

STATEMENT: TOWARDS A POSITION ON THE EXPROPRIATION OF PROPERTY (INCLUDING LAND) WITHOUT COMPENSATION

The FW de Klerk Foundation (FWDKF) was established to protect and promote the Constitution. This we do through the work of two Centres: the Centre for Constitutional Rights (CFCR) and the Centre for Unity in Diversity (CUD). For 2017 and 2018, the general theme of our work is Property Rights and Land Reform.The choice of theme by the Foundation preceded the current debate on Expropriation Without Compensation (EWC), sparked by the resolution tabled in Parliament in February 2018.

Read FULL TEXT of article. 


parliament smlARTICLE: PROCEED CAUTIOUSLY WITH LAND REFORM, MR PRESIDENT...

In the annual 8th January statement (delivered on the 13th January this year), ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa spelled out the central tasks of the ANC for 2018. He covered a wide range of themes and topics, and it is apparent that this is (as usual) not a piece drafted by the ANC president himself. There is the usual rhetoric about the National Democratic Revolution and the gains made in regard to its goals during the last number of years. 

Read FULL TEXT of article. 


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STATEMENT: SUBMISSION TO THE DEPARTMENT OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND LAND REFORM ON THE DRAFT REGULATION OF AGRICULTURAL LAND HOLDINGS BILL

The FW de Klerk Foundation recently made a submission to the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform on the Draft Regulation of Agricultural Land Holdings Bill (the Draft Bill). The salient aspects of the Draft Bill are the introduction of ceilings regarding farm sizes, while limiting the ownership of agricultural land to South African citizens. Foreigners will only have leasehold rights, valid for a few years, over agricultural land.

Read FULL TEXT of statement. 


hay bales

ARTICLE: POLITICS OF THE STOMACH

The last few months, if not years, have witnessed confusion, political grandstanding and outright unconstitutional references and threats in relation to the land question. In what has become a political football at a time of great political and economic uncertainty, respect and regard for laws, regulations and, ultimately, the interest of all South Africans is held ransom by a Presidency and a cabal who in the words of a commentator are interested in the “politics of their stomachs”.

Read FULL TEXT of article. 


farm

ARTICLE: INSERTING FOOD SECURITY INTO THE LAND DEBATE 

Section 27(1) and (2) of the Constitution guarantee every citizen the right to sufficient food, whereby the state must take reasonable measures to ensure the realisation of this right.  To ensure fulfilment of this constitutional imperative, Cabinet approved the National Policy on Food and Nutrition Security (the Policy) in 2013.

Read FULL TEXT of article. 


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ARTICLE: LAND - WHERE DOES THE HUNGER LIE? 

In this article, it is (again) suggested that the country needs a proper and credible land audit before we carry on with a debate that would otherwise remain emotional and divisive. It is, secondly, highlighted that some research has shown that we may have progressed further with land reform than we are sometimes led to believe. And it is thirdly pointed out that the real “land hunger” is not necessarily for agricultural land to farm, but for urban and peri-urban land to build houses and make a home.

Read FULL TEXT of article. 


SECTION25ARTICLE: CAN THE CONSTITUTION ALLOW EXPROPRIATION WITHOUT COMPENSATION FOR LAND REFORM PURPOSES?

Ahead of the December 2017 elective conference, the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the governing party will hold a meeting to discuss the “land issue”. It is apparent to even the uninterested observer, that it appears as if the party cannot agree on the meaning of the property clause in the Constitution.

Read FULL TEXT of article. 


zuma parliament foter

ARTICLE: THE LAND QUESTION - BLACK UNITY AND NO COMPENSATION OR NON-RACIALISM AND CONSTITUTIONALISM?

In his State of the Nation (SONA) appearance, President Zuma said “we had stated our intention of using the Expropriation Act, 1975 (Act 63 of 1975) to pursue land reform and land redistribution, in line with the Constitution” (my emphasis). In debating this, the Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, Gugile Nkwinti, on 14 February, said that the Government will undertake a pre-colonial audit of land ownership and “(o)nce the audit has been completed, a single law should be developed to address the issue of land restitution without compensation. The necessary constitutional amendments should be undertaken to effect this process”.

Read FULL TEXT of article. 


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ARTICLE: THIS INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY* - REMEBERING WOMEN IN THE LAND DEBATE

The perennial land debate in South Africa seems to have taken on a new sense of urgency. In the last week alone, the National Assembly debated an Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) motion to amend the property clause in the Constitution, with their leader issuing the injunction that “People of South Africa, where you see a beautiful land, take it, it belongs to you”. 

Read FULL TEXT of article. 


parliament sml

STATEMENT: PROPERTY RIGHTS AND LAND REFORM IN THE STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS

The FW de Klerk Foundation, through its Centres for Constitutional Rights (CFCR) and Unity in Diversity (CUD) decided to make property and land a focus for 2017 - in addition to a number of other constitutional issues. Hence this analysis of these two important themes as per the recent SONA, and its subsequent discussion in Parliament.

Read FULL TEXT of article.