Civil society unhappy about Ramaphosa signing Khoi-San Bill

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision to sign the highly contested Traditional and Khoi San Leadership Bill into law has been criticised by at least one civil society organisation — and may even be challenged in court.

The announcement that Ramaphosa had signed the bill was made during a meeting of the National Assembly’s programme committee on Thursday, and a government gazette was published later on the same day.

But the decision was met with unhappiness.

“The Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Bill seeks to provide a veneer of legality to partnerships of extraordinary greed and complicity that already exist between government and the mining sector. Instead of regulating mining to ensure that basic rights and the environment are protected, this bill signals that government is happy to jettison the most basic rights of the poorest South Africans in order to maintain the precarious status quo,” said Aninka Claassens of UCT-based Land and Accountability Research Centre.

Claassens said they had expected Ramaphosa to refer the bill back to parliament after two panel reports warned that provisions it contained were in breach of fundamental constitutional rights.

The first report, in 2017, was by a high level panel created by the Speakers’ Forum and chaired by former president Kgalema Motlanthe. Claassens was a member of the Motlanthe-led panel. The second was by the president’s own Advisory Panel into Land Reform, which reported earlier this year.

“Numerous submissions warned that the bill undermines the customary and informal property rights protected by section 25(6) of the constitution, and abrogates the decision-making authority that is the hallmark of citizenship for the 18 million South Africans living in the former homelands.

“The president therefore had strong legal grounds on which to refer the bill back to parliament. He chose to ignore these,” said Claassens.

She said the bill provides for traditional leaders and councils to sign deals with investment companies without obtaining the consent of those whose land rights are directly affected.

“No prior law in SA history, even during colonialism and apartheid, has enabled traditional leaders to dispossess people of their land rights without either their consent, or expropriation,” she added.

Claassens said while civil society has repeatedly lauded the fact that the bill takes steps to recognise Khoi-San leaders and structures, there is a concern about the cost at which this recognition has come. Khoi-San communities, too, will be subject to the rights abrogations enabled by the bill, she said.

The ANC has previously said it views the bill as part of the mechanism and instrument geared at correcting SA’s painful past and recognising the Khoi and San people by restoring their dignity, identity, language, leadership and their culture.

Among its contested clauses, is that it provides that “a (traditional) council may only enter into a partnership or agreement if the relevant community has been consulted and the majority of community members present at such a meeting have taken a decision in support of the partnership or agreement to foster transparent democracy and community participation on matters that affect them”.

But the ANC has defended the clause saying that, on the other hand, the bill makes it illegal for traditional leaders to act unilaterally and to enter into deals with the private sector such as mining companies without the consent of the community.

Claassens also questioned Ramaphosa’s timing in signing the proposed law saying the bill attempts to remove the consequence of legal invalidity for councils that fail to “transform”.

“Because many existing investment deals, particularly for mining, are legally precarious as the traditional councils that signed them were not legally compliant with the requirement to include some women and elected members”.

She said because two landmark judgments in 2018 uphold the right to tenure security in the context of mining in the former homelands — they provide that deprivation of informal land rights requires either the consent of those affected, or expropriation through due process of law —  the bill was amended shortly after the Maledu Constitutional Court judgment of October 2018 to attempt to get around this crucial new precedent.

Lawyers representing several rural communities wrote to Ramaphosa in September requesting him to send the bill back to parliament, charging that it was passed through unconstitutional means, it is substantively unconstitutional and cannot be signed into law.

In its report published in 2017, the Motlanthe panel called for an urgent review of both the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Amendment Bill and the Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Bill, saying that based on the public contributions it received, current and proposed legislation on traditional leadership denied people living in areas under traditional leaders several constitutional rights, distinguishing them from those living in the rest of the country who enjoy the full benefits of postapartheid citizenship.

The newly signed laws were still being processed in parliament at the time the panel made its call. It said “such legislation poses a threat to social cohesion by entrenching and promoting ethnic identities”.

Article by Sunday times

How many blows will be needed to stop the NHI?

DearSA - National Health Insurance

Trade union Solidarity intensified its war against the government’s proposed National Health Insurance (NHI) and is now threatening to take the fight all the way to the Constitutional Court.

The NHI, which is before parliament for consideration, is the government’s plan to provide universal healthcare access to all South Africans. It is expected to be rolled out by 2026 and is estimated to cost R256bn.

“The NHI, should it come into effect, would bring an unprecedented disaster for South Africans,” said Morné Malan, a strategic specialist at Solidarity.

“We don’t know just how far government’s irrationality and insanity will go. We don’t know how many blows will be needed to stop the NHI, but we are ready to come up with as many blows as will be needed, and, ultimately, with even more as long as we can stop this disastrous policy,” said Malan.

“We are also ready to participate in all further processes, to lobby against the bill and to resort to court action right to the Constitutional Court should this bill ever be enacted.”

The trade union, which this week submitted its comments on the NHI representing a mandate of 30 000 people, reiterated its survey findings among health practitioners in the private and public sector.

“They are not being treated as individuals with rights but rather as resources and state assets that can be allocated as government deems fit. It is no wonder that our national survey among health practitioners shows that they are almost unanimous in agreeing that government will not be able to manage it and that health practitioners are not interested in working within such a system,” said Hennie Bierman, head of Solidarity’s Guilds.

The survey found that only 15% of respondents were of the view that the NHI could possibly be successfully implemented, while 84.5% indicated the implementation could destabilise the entire healthcare system.

“The NHI deprives health care practitioners of almost every freedom related to how and where they practice their profession; it turns doctors, nurses, pharmacists and all other health professionals into mere commodities, denying them their humanity, as it were,” said Bierman.

The deadline for written submissions on the NHI Bill closed on Friday, but oral submissions remain open.

The parliamentary portfolio on health, chaired by Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, conducted the final round of public hearings for the year in the Eastern Cape on Friday.

It is set to resume mid-January and end the first week of February next year.

The committee said in a statement that it is of the view that, both oral and written submissions received so far will contribute immensely in making the legislative framework which will lead to the achievement of the objective of the Bill.

“At the centre of this Bill is the preoccupation to ensure that there is quality healthcare system that caters for everyone. The quality and amount of written and oral submissions received from the people in Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Northern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal provinces have greatly enhanced the Bill,” Dr Dhlomo said.

 

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni told the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) on Wednesday that the NHI system was the only opportunity for the SA public healthcare system to shape up, reported Fin24.

Replying orally to questions from members of the NCOP, Mboweni said he did not believe NHI should be considered the only panacea to the challenges dogging the public healthcare system.

“We don’t have to wait for NHI to be implemented to fix our public healthcare system. There are things that are within our power that can be fixed now,” Mboweni said.

Mboweni also urged MPs not to allow ideological persuasions to dictate their views around the NHI without considering the benefits it could yield for South Africans.

 – Compiled by Adiel Ismail

SAA blows its R5 billion bailout in one month, asks for more money

South African Airways (SAA) has spent its R5 billion government bailout in just one month but says it needs much more money to stay airborne.

Not too long ago, during his mid-term Budget Speech, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni begrudgingly admitted that government would, once again, replenish SAA’s beleaguered bank account with R5 billion.

SAA’s R5 billion blowout

Mboweni later said that the national carrier should be shut down as it’s a financial burden on the state. A month later, Adrian Lackay, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Public Enterprises, said that government was both unwilling and unable to continue bailing the embattled company out of its self-imposed financial despair.

Yet, the horror of Mboweni’s allowance announcement on 24 October has been overshadowed by the state owned enterprises’ spectacular spending spree.

By 10 November, SAA’s CEO, Vuyani Jarana, admitted that the company had already spent R3 billion of the bailout to cover urgent debts. Almost three weeks later, while addressing members of parliament, both Jarana and the airline’s CFO, Deon Fredericks, confirmed that the remaining R2 billion had been spent on further “practical capital requirements”.

While the R5 billion bailout was intended to pull SAA out of the doldrums of economic collapse, company executives have, once again, approached government, cap-in-hand, crying imminent financial ruin.

How much money does SAA really need to ‘turn it around’?
According to a report penned by Carol Paton and published by Business Day, SAA will require another R16.7 billion from the government in order to avert complete financial and operational collapse. This bailout is expected to take the form of both capital and loan guarantees.

SAA needs R3.5 billion immediately, as in, before the end of the year. The embattled airline needs a further R4 billion by March. The rest of the funds are to cover exorbitant debts which are expected to mature in four months.

As unbelievable as it sounds, this means that SAA will have burnt through R8.5 billion in less than three months.

More shocking is the fact that, even with these gigantic government bailouts, the national airline has pushed its projected ‘break-even’ date back even further. Fredericks explained that the company had banked on an average oil price of $45 a barrel, when, in reality, the price hovered around $75 a barrel for most of the year. SAA says it will begin to turn a profit in 2021.

During its parliamentary presentation, the SAA board explained that the airline was due to make a loss of R5.2 billion in 2019 and another loss of R1.9 billion in 2020.

article by The South African

A breakdown of the tax pie

Note: The original version of this article was published on 25 June 2019, with the international tax-to-GDP ratio figures based on data from the IMF. After discussions with National Treasury, it was agreed that tax-to-GDP figures from the OECD provide a more relevant picture when South Africa is compared with other countries, as the IMF data do not include social security contributions or provincial taxes. The article was revised on 12 July 2019 to reflect this.

Personal income tax has become more important as a source of government revenue in recent years. Stats SA’s latest publication provides a breakdown of the latest tax data from national government.

Personal income tax contributed over a third of the R1,22 trillion in taxes collected by national government in the 2017/18 fiscal year, according to Stats SA’s Financial statistics of national government report. The second biggest source of tax was value added tax (VAT), followed by company income tax (click on the image to enlarge).

The tax mix looked starkly different a decade ago. In 2008/09, national government collected about the same amount of personal income and company income tax: contributions that year were 31% and 30% respectively.

The 2008–2009 global financial crisis, which resulted in South Africa’s first economic recession since 1994, was particularly hard on businesses. Revenue from company income tax declined in 2009/10, and since then has grown at a much slower rate than the amount collected from personal income tax.

Tax revenue has been increasing despite weak economic growth. The tax-to-GDP ratio, which gives a sense of the tax burden, shows tax revenue as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP). In 2017/18, South Africa’s tax-to-GDP ratio was 25,9%.1 The chart below shows how the tax-to-GDP ratio has grown since the late nineties, peaking at 26,4% in 2007/08.2 The higher the percentage, the higher the amount of tax collected relative to the size of the economy.

How does South Africa compare with other countries in terms of the tax-to-GDP ratio? Data are available from both the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The IMF places South Africa in the top 10 list of countries with the highest tax-to-GDP ratio.3

However, it is important to note that the IMF data exclude social security contributions and provincial/state taxes. The OECD data, on the other hand, do include these two items. Since some countries rely more heavily on social security contributions and regional taxes than South Africa, the OECD data provide a more relevant picture for making comparisons.

Compared with the 36 member countries of the OECD, South Africa finds itself at the lower end of the chart below, with a smaller tax-to-GDP ratio than the United Kingdom, Greece and Italy.4

Is having a high tax-to-GDP ratio a good or a bad thing? It depends on each country. For a nation that has a high ratio but where taxpayers are receiving good value for money, a high tax burden might not be that detrimental. Countries such as Denmark, Sweden and Finland have high tax-to-GDP ratios, but these nations report the highest standard of living.

A very low tax-to-GDP ratio can be problematic as it may be a sign of an inefficient tax system. A government will struggle to provide services, build infrastructure or maintain public goods if it fails to collect taxes during periods of strong economic growth. Indonesia, for example, has in recent years committed itself to raise its tax-to-GDP ratio from 10% to 15%.5

The tax-to-GDP ratio alone provides no indication of good governance, the efficiency of the taxation system in the country, nor the way in which taxes are used or distributed.

Prescribed assets are an apartheid-era policy that’s blatant theft of pensions – MPs

The state’s proposal to force pension funds to invest in bonds issued by government and state-owned enterprises, like Eskom, is effectively theft, Parliament heard.

The National Assembly on Tuesday debated the proposal to investigate the policy of prescribing assets, with most opposition parties expressing their disapproval.

The prescription of assets refers to a policy where the state obliges institutions such as pension funds and insurance companies to invest a part of their funds in state institutions or bonds. The apartheid government had maintained the policy for 33 years (between 1956 and 1989).

The DA, which called the debate, started off proceedings with MP Geordin Hill-Lewis, who claimed that instead of fixing SOEs government is opting for a policy from the apartheid regime.

“The ANC has resorted to copying policies of a failing apartheid government. Some may call it moral and political bankruptcy,” Hill-Lewis said.

Pension theft

He warned that the policy would leave South Africans with smaller pensions when they retire.

“It is pension theft,” he said. “This government is proposing to steal pensions of hardworking South Africans to pay for their mismanagement.

“Stealing from people’s future pensions is still theft and should be fought by every South African who has diligently saved for their retirement,” he told the National Assembly.

In response, ANC MP Phoebe Abraham defended the policy proposal. “The ANC is not a reckless government. We are a caring government,” she said.

Abraham went on to explain the ANC’s reasoning for considering the policy. With the economy being under strain the governing party is coming up with solutions and wants to support the president’s “exploratory direction”, she said.

Abraham recalled how the policy was used by the apartheid government to stimulate economic growth and while the white minority benefited from it, the majority of the oppressed remained “uncatered” for.

She echoed a previous statement by President Cyril Ramaphosa that the ruling party is pursuing policies that will advance the interests of South Africans.

ANC MP Gijman Skosana also defended the ruling party for taking the responsibility to lead and bringing an intervention to address the poverty, inequality and unemployment challenges in the country.

He slammed the DA for only being concerned about the quality of return from the pension funds and not growing the economy and creating jobs – which is what the prescription of pension funds is envisioned to do.

The EFF seemed to side with the ANC as their MP Floyd Shivambu called the DA out for “raising false alarms” about the prescription of assets. “There is no debate worthy of the sensationalism created by the DA,” Shivambu said before adding that regulation 28 of the Pension Funds Act regulates how pension funds should be invested.

He said there is nothing wrong with the prescription of assets – as long as it falls within a defined development programme.

He suggested that the various municipal pension funds be consolidated into one and that an asset manager should be appointed to invest a portion of the funds towards developments such as municipal infrastructure, job creation and labour absorbing sectors in the economy.

IFP MP Elphas Buthelezi, however, was not on the same side of the fence as the ANC and EFF, and said that government would be “gambling” pension funds with the prescription policy.

“We cannot trust the government to make the right investment decisions for people … Take hands off the pension kitty,” he said. The majority of South Africans are saving money in funds not to necessarily enjoy retirement but to make provision for their families, he added.

Apartheid policy

FF Plus Wouter Wessels warned the ANC from following implementing a policy with good intentions, without considering the unintended consequences.

He urged government to learn from the mistakes of the apartheid government, who sought to stimulate the economy through the prescription of assets – but this strategy left the government employee pension fund “completely depleted” by 1994.

“Learn from the past,” he said.

“Pension fund holders will have to increase their contributions and work longer and contribute for a longer time to account for the poor performance of investments,” Wessels said.

He said government should rather fix SOEs, which have been plundered, than look into a policy of prescribed assets. “The poorest in South Africa will suffer the most through this policy,” he said before adding that history repeats itself and that the ANC is following the path of the now defunct National Party.

NFP MP Shaik Emam shared the view that government should rather make sure SOEs turn profitable before investing any more funds in them.

“Until we get our house in order and manage affairs better, we must leave funds alone,” he said.

“The idea is good but the timing is not good,” he added.

Article by news 24

Much ado about nothing?

The incorrect media release today that Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe has given the Western Cape government the go-ahead to explore alternative energy sources. (EWN 19/11/2019).

This followed by a COCT media release immediately to rectify the articles perception but included…..

“….excitement evoked showed just how much people want IPPs to be a part of the energy mix, and highlights the anxiety many ordinary South Africans feel about their energy future.

If the City of Cape Town and some of the province’s municipalities directly contract with IPPs, this would alleviate some of the immense pressure that Eskom is currently experiencing and would give Eskom the opportunity to address its growing maintenance backlog.

This would be a win-win situation for everyone involved.Everyone? Do you hear anything about the Consumer? Unless all is disclosed, be careful of your “excitement“.

The short Radio interview by Sandra gives lots for thought!

This is South Africa’s ‘real’ school pass rate

Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga has released new statistics focusing on the drop out rates at South Africa’s schools.

Responding in a parliamentary Q&A session, Motshekga said that there is a lot of confusion about drop-out rates – including how these are defined and measured.

She said that the drop-out rate is often loosely referred to as the proportion of children who leave the schooling system without completing Grade 12.

However, another way in which drop-out rates are conceived is the proportion of children exiting the school system after each grade, she said.

“Whenever matric results are released some critics refer to the so-called ‘real pass rate’, which attempts to measure the percentage of all children who started school that went on to complete matric.

“Figures in the range of 37% to 40% are usually mentioned in this regard. This is inaccurate and is caused by the perpetual mistake of comparing grade 1 enrolments (which are inflated due to grade repetition) to matric passes.”

Motshekga said that the high rate of grade repetition in grade 1 is the main reason why this method is flawed, but another reason is that a substantial number of people complete matric through supplementary June NSC exams.

The real pass rate

She provided the below statistics that shows the percentage of 22-25 year-olds who have completed at least Grade 12 for each year since 2009, using General Household Survey data.

“For these calculations one needs to select an age range which is old enough so as to avoid including large percentages of youths still in school and therefore possibly still going to complete Grade 12 (this would cause an underestimate of grade 12 completion) but which is still young enough so as to reflect recent trends in school completion.

“For this reason, the age range of 22-25 year-olds has been selected. According to this methodology, the percentage of youths who have completed grade 12 has increased from about 44.9% in 2009 to about 53.8% in 2018. It should also be emphasised that these are estimates based on a nationally representative sample of households,” she said.

Drop-out rates for each grade

Another way of measuring drop-out rates is to look at the percentage of learners who drop out after each grade, said Motshekga.

The table below shows the drop-out rates and survival rates for those born during 1992-1994 – and surveyed between 2016-2018.

The survival rates in the table show the percentage of individuals who reached each grade. The rate was then converted to show the number of individuals, out of a 1000 individuals who reached each grade.

The final column also shows the percentage of all individuals reaching particular grades who then drop out before attaining the next grade. This methodology is more in line with commonly used international definitions of dropout rates.

Research indicates that the high dropout and repetition rates towards the end of secondary are symptomatic of weak learning foundations which become more apparent as learners get closer to the National Senior Certificate examination, said Motshekga.

“The department is therefore prioritizing interventions both to keep learners in school and to improve the quality of learning outcomes throughout the school system so that learners reach grades 10, 11 and 12 better equipped for the National Senior Certificate examination.

“Furthermore, the department is aiming to ensure that more youths who do not complete the National Senior Certificate still do obtain some form of educational qualification and gain access to other post-schooling education and training opportunities, such as technical and vocational education.”

article by Business Tech

New law aims to track all South Africans using DNA, from birth

Government has delayed its submission of the new Criminal Law Amendment Bill to parliament as it considers the logistics of placing all citizens on a national registry.

First announced in 2017, the bill provides for the taking of specified bodily samples (buccal samples) from schedule 8 offenders for forensic deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) analysis.

The DNA profiles are then stored in the National Forensic DNA Database (NFDD).

The purpose of the legislation is to strengthen criminal investigation and ensure the prosecution of repeat offenders.

Responding in a recent parliamentary Q&A session, minister of police Bheki Cele said that he had requested that the bill be put on hold to ‘allow a process to investigate the possibility of all citizens of the country to be buccal sampled, including infants at birth, for identification purposes’.

These buccal samples would then, within the amended legal framework, be used for comparison during forensic criminal investigations, he said.

“For this purpose, I have sent a letter to the then Minister of Home Affairs Dr Siyabonga Cwele, to request the minister to consider the proposal of extending the buccal sampling requirement to all citizens of the country since the matter falls within the exclusive mandate of the Department of Home Affairs as the lead department in the registration of births and identification of citizens and non-citizens of the country.

“This letter was sent to the minister of Home Affairs on 14 November 2019.”

He added that the date on which the bill will be submitted to parliament cannot be confirmed yet as the two departments continue to consider the above proposal.

Article by Business Tech

‘Aarto Act could be used by Sanral to enforce e-toll compliance’

On Sunday, draft amendments to Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act (Aarto) regulations closed for public comment.

Signed into law in August by President Cyril Ramapphosa, the act could result in traffic law offenders losing their licences through the demerit system.

RELATED: ‘Aarto Amendment Act takes away right to be tried before an ordinary court’

The Justice Project South Africa warns that the act is a constitutional breach and it could be used by Sanral to enforce e-toll compliance.

Bongani Bingwa chats to the organisation’s chairperson Howard Dembovsky to give more insight on the matter.

Dembovsky says motorists should be cautious about this act.

The fundamental problem with the Aarto Act, is that at its foundation it presumes a person to be guilty and then it is up to you to prove yourself innocent. That is completely contrary to the provisions of Section 35,3 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa.

— Howard Dembovsky, Chairperson – Justice Project South Africa
The Aarto Amendment Act states that infringement notices and any other documents required to be served in terms of the act may be served electronically and that electronic service is broad in its definition, he explains.

The Aarto Amendment Act was signed into law on 13 August and the regulations were published for public comment on 11 October. Regulations are what makes the underlying act function.

— Howard Dembovsky, Chairperson – Justice Project South Africa
Dembovsky believes that these regulations were hurriedly put together as they contain many grammatical errors.

He says motorist can only defend themselves only in a tribunal.

This tribunal allows for motorists to make applications to it after they have had an unsuccessful written representation to a representation officer employed by the tribunal. If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of that tribunal, only then apply to a magistrate’s court for a review of the entire process.

— Howard Dembovsky, Chairperson – Justice Project South Africa
The regulations say a motorist cannot introduce new evidence when they go to the magistrate court.

The Aarto charge bill has not been repealed by the new draft regulations and subsequently, the charge for driving on a toll road without paying tolls is still there. Essentially Sanral can automate its process and send out infringement notices to people who drive under gantries and not pay tolls.

— Howard Dembovsky, Chairperson – Justice Project South Africa

Land | Is it too late to stop expropriation without compensation? Five key questions answered

expropriation without compensation

Slowly but surely the process to amend the Constitution to allow expropriation without compensation is getting under way in Parliament. This is where the process currently stands.

Is it too late to object to amending Section 25?

For all practical purposes, yes.

The question on whether Section 25 of the Constitution should be amended, was answered last year when both Houses of Parliament adopted a resolution stating that the Constitution should be amended to allow expropriation without compensation.

This after the Joint Constitutional Review Committee make a recommendation to that effect after criss-crossing through the country and handling a vast amount of submissions from the public on the matter.

What Parliament is dealing with now, is drafting an amendment to the Constitution. This is the job of the committee with the unwieldy title of the Ad Hoc Committee to Initiate and Introduce Legislation Amending Section 25 of the Constitution, chaired by ANC MP Mathole Motshekga.

In theory, a motion could be brought to the National Assembly to change the ad hoc committee’s mandate or rescind the previous motion, but this seems unlikely.

So expropriation without compensation is a done deal?

Almost.

The biggest hurdle to the constitutional amendment is that it needs to be passed by a two thirds majority in the National Assembly.

This requires 267 votes. The parties who publicly stated that they oppose an amendment – the DA, IFP, FF Plus, ACDP and Cope – have 114 seats between them. Therefore, the ANC would need the 44 votes of the EFF to also vote for an amendment to pass the two-thirds threshold.

Now, the EFF supports expropriation without compensation, but their policy differs from that of the ANC in that the EFF wants the state to own all land.

So, in theory, there is a possibility that the EFF could decide not to support the amendment to the Constitution.

Does this mean that nationalisation is a possibility?

It is unlikely. The ANC has on several occasions made it clear that they do not support nationalisation.

Nationalisation would also possibly entail a different amendment to the Constitution than what the committee is currently busy with.

Furthermore, the presidential panel of experts on land reform and agriculture, said there was no provision for the nationalisation of land in current law and Constitution.

“Nationalisation is not on the cards in the current constitutional dispensation,” Bulelwa Mabasa, one of the panel’s members said when its report was released in July.

What will the amendment look like?

On Wednesday, Parliament’s legal services presented two options for the ad hoc committee to consider. Both involves changing the wording of Section 25 to allow expropriation without compensation, and providing for a law of general application to make this possible.

EFF chief whip Floyd Shivambu also presented an amendment, which was similar but also included a clause that would effectively nationalise land.

What happens next?

The ad hoc committee will deliberate on these options, and come up with a draft amendment bill by the end of November. This bill will then be open for a public participation process. The committee must consider this in finalising the bill, before it is presented to the National Assembly for adoption. The committee aims to finish its work before the end of March 2020.